As the hostage crisis steadily escalates, there is an increasing sense of urgency now more than ever before. This comes on the back of the United Nations’ alarming announcement that Israel has instructed 1.1 million Gazans to relocate to the enclave’s southern region within a span of 24 hours, whilst Israeli troops are on standby.
Amongst the detainees are 16 Thais who represent a small number of an accruing global list of people suspected to be held captive in Gaza.
Friday saw a significant meeting take place between the Prime Minister of Thailand, Srettha, and Israeli ambassador, Orna Sagiv. The central topic of their discussion at the Government House was the prevailing conflict situation and the mutual anticipation for the swift restoration of peace. In this context, the Thai PM was clear in his denunciation of violence of any type, particularly when it methodically victimizes innocent civilians.
A report states a grim tally of 21 Thai nationals who have lost their lives due to the escalating conflict. Furthermore, Thursday recorded a total death toll surpassing 2,700, with 1,300 casualties from Israel and Gaza reporting over 1,400 Palestinian deaths.
Srettha was emphatic in his plea to Sagiv, urging her to facilitate prompt assistance for the stranded Thai laborers. He articulated his worries about their wellbeing given the “unprecedented” circumstances of a conflict-ridden region.
In response, Sagiv assured the Prime Minister of the firm commitment of the Israeli government to treat all those within Israel’s borders as their own citizens. However, she was also candid in admitting the unique and unprecedented nature of the warfare they were engaged in.
Civilians, she pointed out, had been transported from the entrenched conflict zones to safer territories situated 4 kilometers away. Israeli authorities and the Thai government collaborate closely in order ensue protection measures for Thai nationals situated within Israel, added Sagiv.
Srettha expressed his gratitude for the assistance offered by Israel and stressed his government’s priorities. Top on their agenda is the safety of the 30,000 Thai citizens in Israel.
A key component of Srettha’s machinery is the operational links with the Thai ambassador in Tel Aviv. This connection aids in maintaining a close watch on the unfolding situation and has been instrumental in strategizing relief measures for affected Thais trapped within the borders of Israel.
Srettha employed this dialogue to appeal for Israeli support for the repatriation of nearly 6,000 Thai individuals, who are distressed and yearn to return home. In addition, he put forth the proposition that Israeli employers bear a responsibility to safeguard their Thai employees during these tumultuous times.