Indian worker killed in Hezbollah missile attack leaves behind daughter, pregnant wife

India advises nationals working in Israeli border areas to move to safer parts of the country following the killing of Pat Nibin Maxwell in an attack near the Lebanese border

Pat Nibin Maxwell, 31, pictured with his wife and child (Screenshot from Facebook, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law).
Pat Nibin Maxwell, 31, pictured with his wife and child (Screenshot from Facebook, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law).

The Indian man killed in a Hezbollah missile attack on northern Israel on Monday was named Tuesday as Pat Nibin Maxwell, a native of Kollam in Kerala state in southern India

Maxwell, 31, was married and expecting a second child in two months, in addition to his 5-year-old daughter, the Hindustan Times reported.

The paper said he arrived in Israel in January on a work contract and his older brother is also working in Israel. He was killed when an anti-tank guided missile fired by terrorists in Lebanon struck an orchard near the border community of Margaliot, according to first responders and the Israeli military.

His remains are expected to be repatriated for burial within a week.

Two other farmhands seriously injured in the attack were also from Kerala, according to the Hindustan Times report. They were named as Joseph George Bush, 31, and Paul Melvin, 28. Five more foreign workers sustained light to moderate injuries.

“[Bush] was taken to the Beilinson hospital in Petah Tikva after suffering injuries on face and body. He underwent an operation, is recovering well, and has been kept under observation. He could speak with his family in India,” an official source told the Press Trust of India, per the Hindustan Times.

Melvin was reportedly transported to the Ziv Medical Center in Safed for treatment and recovery.

The attack was believed to have been carried out by the Hezbollah terror group, which has been launching rockets, missiles, and drones at northern Israel daily amid the ongoing war in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli Embassy in India expressed condolences in a Tuesday statement, adding that both Israel and India, “who are sadly well versed in civilian loss, stand united in hopes of a speedy recovery for the injured and solace for the family of the bereaved.”

Israel’s ambassador to India Naor Gilon also released a statement saying he spoke with Maxwell’s brother to offer condolences to him and the family. “Israel will be by their side for anything and everything,” Naor wrote.

Hours later, the Indian Embassy in Israel put out an advisory notice calling on all Indian nationals located in northern or southern border areas to relocate to safer areas within Israel.

Maxwell was one of thousands of Indian workers who came to Israel after the October 7 massacre caused an acute labor shortage.

Following the deadly onslaught, Palestinian laborers disappeared from Israel overnight, as the country placed an immediate ban on workers from Gaza and restricted access to most of those from the West Bank.

At the same time, more than 10,000 foreign workers, primarily from Thailand, fled after the attacks. Thirty-nine Thai workers were killed in the massacre, and 32 were dragged to Gaza as hostages.

Foreign workers work in agriculture near the Israeli border with the Gaza Strip, southern Israel, during the ongoing war in Gaza, December 25, 2023. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

In an effort to combat India’s rising unemployment and underemployment rates, Jerusalem and New Delhi signed an agreement in 2023 before the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war to allow more than 40,000 Indians to work in the Jewish state in the nursing and construction sectors.

In January, newly arrived Indian workers told the press that they were aware of the risks of working in Israel during war, but it was worth it for the income.

“Yes, I am aware of the conflict, but I can earn a lot of money in a short time,” said Vivek Sharma, a 28-year-old mason, who estimated he could end up saving more than a million Indian rupees ($12,000) by working in Israel for a year.

Emanuel Fabian and agencies contributed to this report.

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