The External Affairs Ministry on Friday advised Indians not to travel to Israel or Iran amid tensions arising in the West Asian region.

The advisory was issued two days after the Israeli government announced that over 6,000 construction workers from India would arrive in the country in April and May. Earlier this month, the first batch of 64 construction workers from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh left for Israel amid the war on Gaza.

The workers from India were sent to Israel under a government-to-government agreement between the two countries.

There are already around 18,000 Indians working in various sectors in Israel, according to the External Affairs Ministry, reported The Times of India.

On Friday, the ministry issued the advisory following reports that Iran had vowed to retaliate against Israel after a strike on its consulate in Syria on April 1. The attack had killed 13 persons. Israel had not officially claimed responsibility for the attack.

“In view of the prevailing situation in the region, all Indians are advised not to travel to Iran or Israel till further notice,” the advisory said. “All those who are currently residing in Iran or Israel are requested to get in touch with Indian Embassies there and register themselves.”

The ministry requested Indians living in the region to observe “utmost precautions about their safety and restrict their movements to the minimum”.

The Indian embassy in Israel on Friday also issued an advisory for Indian nationals living in the West Asian country to follow guidelines issued by the local authorities and to register with the embassy.

“The Embassy remains in touch with the Israeli authorities to ensure the safety of all our nationals,” the advisory said.

Besides India, the United States and France issued similar advisories for citizens in, or travelling to Israel, Lebanon, Iran.

‘Why are Indians being sent to death trap?’: Asaduddin Owaisi

On Friday, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi asked if Prime Minister Narendra Modi was taking “personal responsibility” for the security of the Indian workers being sent to Israel.

Owaisi, citing the advisory issued on Friday by the External Affairs Ministry, asked why Indians were being “sent to a deathtrap”.

Referring to Israel’s war on Gaza, Owaisi remarked that Israel was in the “middle of committing a genocide”.

The Hyderabad MP said: “It [Israel doesn’t care about the safety of poor Indians. The export of Indian workers should be stopped immediately, and those already there should be brought back.”

Over the past nearly six months, Israel has also been carrying out air and ground strikes in Gaza. The attacks have killed over 33,000 persons in the besieged Palestinian territory and injured almost 75,000.

The war began after Hamas’ incursion into southern Israel on October 7 that killed 1,200 persons. The militant group had also taken over 200 people hostage. Some of the hostages were released in November as part of a brief ceasefire in exchange for Palestinians imprisoned by Israel and humanitarian aid.