In the wake of unfortunate events in Israel, authorities have reported that 12 Thai workers have tragically lost their lives in the ongoing conflict, with an additional nine injured and 11 taken captive by the militant group, Hamas. The Foreign Ministry, deeply affected by the news, stated on Monday that there are currently 1,099 Thai workers stationed in Israel who have explicitly expressed their desire to be evacuated from Israel, prompting swift action from the government’s side.
Kanchana Patarachoke, the Foreign Ministry’s Spokeswoman, relayed the chilling reports from Thai employers operating in Israel. The Thai authorities are taking careful measures to confirm the identities of the Thai victims before breaking the heart-wrenching news to the bereaved families. Patarachoke underlines the complexities in obtaining an official confirmation, emphasizing that the privacy of victims’ identity is being stringently maintained.
Simultaneously, the Spokeswoman provided details of nine Thai individuals who suffered injuries in the conflict, and a sobering 11 who have been held captive. The abducted Thais, it appears, were just a fraction of the 100-plus civilians who were ensnared by the Hamas attackers, a group that also comprised Israeli, French, German, and Georgian nationals.
To assuage the mounting fear among Thai workers in Israel, Patarachoke assured that the Thai government was working fervently to set up evacuation, repatriation, and rescue protocols. Interestingly, the Thai worker population in Israel is substantial with approximately 30,000 Thais working in various sectors in the country, including nearly 5,000 stationed near the volatile Gaza Strip.
The violence in Israel doesn’t show signs of subsiding. Consequently, the Israeli Defence Ministry plans to evacuate all civilians from cities proximate within 24 hours in order to prevent further casualties.
The war has affected the airline industry gravely, with many airlines cancelling flights through Tel Aviv’s airport due to the conflict. It’s been reported that flight frequency is now nearly half of what it usually would be. In response to this situation, the Royal Thai Air Force has offered its Airbus 340 and five C-130 transport aircraft for the systematic repatriation of Thai workers from Israel. There are also plans for chartered flights as needed, indicating the government’s commitment to their citizens’ safety and well-being.