Jerusalem, May 21 (PTI) Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has praised the 'generosity and kindheartedness' of the Indian caregiver who was killed on May 11 in a rocket attack by Palestinian militants from Gaza.
Soumya Santosh, 30, who hailed from Kerala’s Idukki district, worked as a caregiver attending to an old woman at a house in the southern Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon. She was talking to her husband Santhosh over a video call in the evening on May 11 when a rocket fired from Gaza directly hit the house where she was working.
Rivlin, who called the family of the Indian caregiver on Wednesday expressed his condolences, saying he hopes they would find comfort in her 'generosity and kindheartedness', a press statement from the Presidency said on Friday.
'President of Israel Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin spoke earlier this week with the family of Soumya Santosh, an Indian citizen working as a caregiver in Israel, who was killed in rocket fire on Ashkelon on Tuesday May 11,' the statement said.
His media adviser had earlier confirmed to PTI that the President had spoken to the family of Soumya on Wednesday.
'Speaking to the family of Soumya, the President told her husband Santhosh, who is in India with their nine-year-old son, that, 'I hope you find comfort in the love, the generosity and the kindheartedness she gave to others in need',' the statement said.
The Israeli president later also in a tweet said that he expressed 'deep condolences' to the families of the foreign workers for their 'tragic deaths'.
'Speaking with the families of Soumya Santosh of #India and of Weerawat Karunborirak and Sikarin Sa-ngamrum of #Thailand, killed by Hamas #terror attacks on #Israel in recent days. I expressed our deep condolences for their tragic deaths,' Rivlin wrote.
'On behalf of the State of #Israel and its people I told Soumya Santosh's husband Santhosh I hope he finds comfort in the love, the generosity and the kindheartedness she gave to others in need,' he added.
Soumya's husband, Santhosh, is said to have thanked the President for 'his warm embrace and the State of Israel for helping to expedite the transfer of the body to India for burial'.
'The president also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the people of India for their support for Israel,' the statement added.
India, during the UN General Assembly meeting on the situation in the Middle East and Palestine, underlined that every effort should be made to create conducive conditions for the resumption of direct talks between Israel and Palestine, emphasising that meaningful negotiations will go a long way in establishing lasting peace and stability in the region.
Israel and Islamic militant group Hamas agreed to a cease-fire Thursday to the 11-day war that left more than 200 dead - the vast majority Palestinians - and brought widespread devastation to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
The Indian caregiver was living and working in Israel for the last seven years.
Her 80-year-old elderly charge survived the direct hit on the house and was hospitalised.
The rocket shelter was at least a minute’s run away from the woman’s home and the pair could not manage to reach it in time. The home lacked a fortified room of its own.
Soumya's mortal remains were sent to India on May 14 in a specially arranged flight and reached her hometown the next day.
The Israeli President also spoke to the spouses of two Thai workers who were killed in rocket attacks from Gaza.
At least three out of eleven people killed in Israel in rocket attacks from Gaza in the recent confrontation between the Jewish state and Gaza based militants were foreigners. PTI HM PMS AKJ PMS