15 Vietnamese trainees near Gaza taken to safety

By Duc Trung   October 13, 2023 | 12:02 am PT
15 Vietnamese trainees near Gaza taken to safety
Palestinians search for casualties under the rubble in the aftermath of Israeli strikes amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip October 13, 2023. Photo by Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
The Vietnamese Embassy in Israel has requested an Israel training center to bring 15 Vietnamese trainees in Sderot City, near Gaza, to safety.

Vietnamese ambassador in Israel Ly Duc Trung on Thursday said the 15 Vietnamese trainees are studying at the Agrostudies training center and living near Sderot, the Vietnam News Agency reported. Due to its close proximity to Gaza, there is a high risk of the trainees being involved in conflicts between Hamas and Israel.

The trainees have been split into small groups and moved to Malakhi, located about 40 km away from Gaza, to stay safe in the coming days.

Amid conflicts between Hamas and Israel that are "complex and unpredictable", Trung has called for Vietnamese communities to form groups in each region to support one another. The groups would send information to the Embassy's emergency response committee for coordination and instructions when needed.

There are around 500 Vietnamese living in Israel, mostly in major cities. Every year, Israel receives hundreds of Vietnamese trainees, but the number has dropped this year to only 180 people.

The embassy has recommended Vietnamese communities to stay calm, follow authorities' orders and keep each other in touch. Those who wish to be repatriated or moved to a third country need to actively and quickly seek out commercial flights with the most appropriate time frames. The Ben Gurion International Airport still operates, and major airlines still maintain flights from and to Israel, despite reduced frequencies, the embassy added.

By Friday, over 2,800 people have died and around 10,000 were injured since Israel began airstrikes in response to Hamas' attacks on October 7. No Vietnamese casualty has been reported.

More than 330,000 people have been displaced in Gaza since Israel began its bombardment of the strip, according to the United Nations.

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