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39 Thai Workers Tragically Killed in Israel: Will The Survivors Get Justice?

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The bubbling cauldron of conflict in Israel has sadly claimed the lives of five more Thai nationals who had been employed there. This update was relayed by Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs over the weekend, bringing the devastating total to 39. According to the Thai representation in the heart of Israel, in Tel Aviv, official recognition of the deceased’s nationalities has been made by the Israeli authorities.

The grim reality as of November 10 includes 39 Thai workers tragically losing their lives, 19 more sustaining injuries, and an alarming 25 held captive. Among the injured, four are currently living through hospital care. Echoing a touch of humanity and concern, Pannabha Chandraramya, Thai ambassador to Israel, and Sakdinart Sonthisakdiyothin of the Social Security Office personally paid a visit to three of the injured last Friday.

On a brighter note, the medical facilities—Sheba Tel-HaShomer Medical Center and Shamir Medical Center (Assaf Harofeh)—have reported promising recoveries for those workers in their care. Plans are also in motion for official delegates to check in on the remaining injured individual.

In a ripple effect, over 6,000 Thai individuals who turned to Israel for work are now applying for compensation through the fund for overseas workers. This information was shared by Pairote Chotikasathien, a key figure in the Ministry of Labour. Half of them have already received their due, and the others are likely to see their compensations—15,000 baht each—within a week. However, some payments have faced delays due to administrative issues.

Chotikasathien adds another sliver of silver lining: each returnee will also receive an extra 50,000 baht as suggested by the prime minister himslef. The family members left behind by those who lost their lives in this conflict, along with the workers who hurriedly returned before the unrest worsened, will also be compensated. These beneficial changes will hopefully be given the green light in the next cabinet meeting come Monday.

Provincial labour offices are also doing their part by assiduously collecting documents from workers who independently arranged their return trips to Thailand. Of the 2,400 compensational requests, more than half are seeking reimbursement for their air tickets, with the rest claiming for airport transfers within Israel.

Despite the conflict that ignited on October 7 following the Hamas raids, a significant number of Thai workers—approximately 20,000 out of the original 30,000—have opted to remain in Israel. Meanwhile, efforts are tireless to free those still held in captivity. Foreign Affairs Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara announced last week that the Thai captives are likely to be among the first freed from the expected total of 250, as they are located in relatively safer regions.

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