An Indian woman was killed in a Hamas rocket attack in Israel while she was talking to her husband via a video call back home in India. Soumya Santosh, 30, was working as a caregiver in the city of Ashkelon when a Palestinian rocket fired from the Gaza strip fell on the building where she was working on Tuesday evening.
Israel came under heavy rocket attack on Tuesday, particularly targeted at Tel Aviv, Beersheva and Ashkelon. More than 200 Hams rockets were fired from the Gaza strip on Tuesday in retaliation to an Israeli aerial attack on Gaza that destroyed two building killing over 32 Palestinians.
The woman was talking to her husband in India via a video call, when a rocket fell on the building. "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," Saji, the woman's brother-in-law said.
Soumya was working in the coastal city as a housemaid attending to an elderly woman. She is from the state of Kerala and been working in Israel for the past seven years. Ashkelon, which borders the Gaza Strip, has come under massive fire from the Palestinian terrorists.
She has a nine-year-old son whom she had left with her husband in Kerala before leaving for Israel in 2014. However, the 80-year-old elderly woman she was taking care of is said to have survived the direct hit on the house and is hospitalized in a serious condition, local media reports said.
News of Soumya's death has people in her village back in India shocked. She had last visited Kerala in 2017. Channel 12 reported that the rocket shelter was at least a minute's run away from the building Soumya was working at but she and the elderly woman could not manage to reach it in time. The home also lacked a fortified room of its own.
Soumya's sister in law Sherly Benny, who also works in Israel, rushed to her home after hearing the news. "The incident occurred at around 3 pm local time. After hearing about it, I rushed to the house where Soumya worked. The mortar shell landed on the house and the entire building was completely destroyed," she said.
Social media users immediately started mourning the caregiver's sudden death. Some leaders in Kerala have also sought intervention of the Central government in the issue as tensions escalate between Israel and Hamas occupied Gaza Strip.
Israel's ambassador to India Ron Malka on Tuesday took to Twitter to condole the Indian woman's death. "On behalf of the state of Israel, I convey heartfelt condolences to the family of Soumya Santosh, murdered by Hamas indiscriminate terror attack on innocent lives. Our hearts are crying with her 9-years-old son that lost his mother in this cruel terrorist attack," he said in a tweet.
Ashkelon's Mayor Tomer Glam said that some 25 percent of the residents do not have access to a protected area when rockets are fired at the city. It is impossible when normal life becomes a state of emergency within minutes, Glam told Army Radio.