Zambia on Thursday announced that 77 nationals have been evacuated from Israel due to the ongoing war in the Gaza Strip.
Foreign Minister Stanley Kakubo told parliament in the capital Lusaka that 77 nationals, including 72 students, arrived in the country on Wednesday.
The minister said 172 Zambians are living in Israel, including 143 students, adding that some students insisted on staying back in Israel.
“For those who have chosen to remain in Israel, be rest assured that the ministry will maintain close collaboration with the Zambian Embassy and the Israeli Foreign Ministry to take any necessary actions that will ensure their continued safety,” he added.
He said President Hakainde Hichilema also held telephone talks with his Israeli counterpart Isaac Herzog following the outbreak of the conflict.
The conflict in Gaza, under Israeli bombardment and blockade since Oct. 7, began when Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, a multi-pronged surprise attack that included a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel by land, sea, and air. It said the incursion was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and growing violence by Israeli settlers.
The Israeli military then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.
Gaza is experiencing a dire humanitarian crisis, with no electricity, while water, food, fuel, and medical supplies are running out.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for an “immediate humanitarian cease-fire” to ease the “epic human suffering.”
At least 3,808 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza, while the figure stands at more than 1,400 people in Israel.