Ron Malka, Israel’s ambassador to India, on Wednesday morning spoke to the family of Soumya Santosh – the Kerala woman killed in a Palestinian rocket strike the day before – to convey his sorrow over her death.
Mr Malka said he had spoken to Ms Santosh’s family on behalf of the Israeli government, and added that “the whole country is mourning her loss and we are here for them”. He also expressed grief that Ms Santosh’s young son – who is nine years old – had lost his mother.
“I just spoke to the family of Ms Soumya Santosh, the victim of the Hamas terrorist strike. I expressed my sorrow for their unfortunate loss and extended my condolences on behalf of the state of Israel. The whole country is mourning her loss and we are here for them,” he tweeted.
The Israel ambassador also tweeted photographs of Ms Santosh with her husband and son.
“My heart goes out to her nine-year-old son, Adon, who has lost his mother at such a young age and will have to grow up without her. This evil attack reminds me of little Moses, who also lost his parents during the 2008 Mumbai attacks. May God give them strength and courage,” he added.
My heart goes out to her 9-year-old son, Adon, who has lost his mother at such a young age and will have to grow up without her. This evil attack reminds me of little Moses, who also lost his parents during the 2008 #Mumbaiattacks.
May God give them strength and courage????
— Ron Malka ???????? (@DrRonMalka) May 12, 2021
Mr Malka was likely referring to Moshe Tzvi Holtzberg – the young boy whose parents were killed during the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. Moshe was then only two-and-half-years old.
Soumya Santosh, who hails from Kerala’s Idukki district, worked as a housemaid in Israel’s Asheklon city for the past seven years, according to relatives quoted by news agency PTI.
On Tuesday she was talking to her husband, who is in Kerala, via a video call when a rocket – one of hundreds fired by Israeli and Palestinian forces over the past 24 or so hours – struck her residence.
“My brother heard a huge sound during the video call. Suddenly the phone got disconnected. Then we immediately contacted fellow Malayalees working there. Thus we came to know about the incident,” Ms Santhosh’s brother-in-law, Saji, told PTI.
Hostilities between Israel and Hamas have escalated dramatically and tragically, with at least 35 people killed in Gaza and five in Israel in the most intensive aerial exchanges since the 2014 war.
The violence has prompted global concern that it could quickly spiral out of control, particularly at a time when the world should be focused on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
UN Middle East peace envoy Tor Wennesland tweeted: “Stop the fire immediately. We’re escalating towards a full scale war. Leaders on all sides have to take the responsibility of de-escalation.”
Stop the fire immediately. We’re escalating towards a full scale war. Leaders on all sides have to take the responsibility of deescalation. The cost of war in Gaza is devastating & is being paid by ordinary people. UN is working w/ all sides to restore calm. Stop the violence now
— Tor Wennesland (@TWennesland) May 11, 2021
With input from PTI
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