At precisely midday, a squadron of 15 Thai laborers touched down at Suvarnabhumi Airport, journeying on flight number LY083 of Israel’s prestigious El Al Airlines. The aircraft took off from Tel Aviv under the cover of darkness, embarking on a nocturnal trip that would take them back home.
Upon arrival, the workers were welcomed by an entourage of government ministers, as well as their own families who had been bracing for this reunion with bated breath. Their faces showed relief as well as anticipation, the excitement and anxiety a painful reminder of the difficult circumstances that had led to this moment.
According to Parnpree Bahiddha-nukara, the Foreign Minister of Thailand, there were several workers who made their way hesitantly onto the tarmac aided by wheelchairs, bearing the brutal reminders of battle – gunshot wounds.
The emotional tableau of the reunion was almost overwhelming. There were hugs, tears, and catharsis along with heartfelt displays of love. One mother, Sabeaung Paerin, 69, was overflowing with happiness at the sight of her son. She admitted to having shielded herself from the news casting the battle, fearing for his safety.
The Foreign Minister shared in a press statement that nearly 6,000 Thai citizens had requested to return home urgently, and rest assured, the government was strategically planning their course of action to enable their safe and swift return.
Parnpree also shared that the government was diligently working towards arranging the transportation of Thai citizens who lost their lives in the conflict. Religious ceremonies were in order to honor the departed, and the Israeli government was significantly aiding the effort by preparing to collect and courier the bodies.
The harrowing attack by Hamas on Israel has reportedly resulted in 21 Thai nationals losing their lives. An additional 14 individuals were severely injured and 16 Thai individuals are seemingly in the custody of the insurgents.
Simultaneously, the Labour Minister Piphat Ratchakitprakarn revealed a comprehensive plans of financial aid. Each worker returning home would receive a compensation package amounting to 15,000 baht.
Moreover, families grieving the loss of loved ones to the conflict would receive 40,000 baht in restitution, with an additional 40,000 baht being allocated towards covering the practical costs of funeral arrangements. Government orders dictated that the Israeli government would be offering compensation to the injured workers, with the extent of the injury being factored into the calculations. Compensation would range anywhere from 10 to 90%, ultimately amounting to approximately 1.44 million baht.
The Israeli government was tasked with evaluating each case individually, tailoring compensations for those workers who had sustained severe injuries, exceeding 20%.
Piphat also shared that financial aid would be extended to the family of deceased workers, with the widow being entitled to a monthly package of 35,000 baht till she found herself open to matrimony. The children would also receive a monthly sum of 12,000 baht till their 18th birthdays.
In a development shared by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, the government was leaving no stone unturned in their efforts to bring their citizens back home. All flights were being prepared for evacuation, and as of now, they had nine aircraft deployed for the mission – four of which belonged to popular air carriers, Nok Air and Air Asia Airlines.