Amid tremendous strife, an incalculable number of rocket bombardments surged across the Gaza Strip, bridging into crucial points within Israel’s geographical spread. The instigators, allegedly members of the Hamas military wing, penetrated the region, wreaking violence and embedding an atmosphere of dread, underscored by a wave of killings and hostage situations.
Prime Minister Srettha voiced his escalating apprehension over circulating reports, hinting at the potential abduction of Thai citizens within Israel by the belligerent factions. He assured the public that the Thai government is vigorously vetting this information with the cooperation of Israeli authorities.
In a public statement through his social media accounts, Srettha expressed: “I unequivocally denounce the ruthless offensive wave across Israel that resulted in an incalculable toll on human life and debilitating injuries. My profound condolences reach out to the people and government of Israel. This unjustifiable incident stands in stark contrast to humane values, and I am unified with the international community in reproving such actions.”
“I have issued directives for the immediate preparation of Airbus A340 and C-130 aircraft by the Air Force, to facilitate the urgent evacuation of Thai citizens from Israel. The operation is under the watchful supervision of Air Force Assistant Chief Marshal Panpakdi Pattanakul. In collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we are keeping a close eye on the evolving situation. Our priority is to ensure the safe retrieval of all Thai nationals.”
Earlier, while acknowledging the volatile situation in Israel through his official X account, Srettha Thavisin iterated: “I am acutely aware of the reports detailing rocket assaults from Gaza wreaking havoc and claiming lives in Israel. The turmoil continues, and a war state has been declared in Israel.”
“I harbor serious concerns for our citizens residing there. Some of our province governors have initiated coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, relaying reports of Thai workers being impacted by the conflict. Our government has cornered its resources to provide immediate assistance and relief. I implore the Thai Embassy in Tel Aviv to extend comprehensive support to our citizens. Thai nationals in Israel can access the Embassy’s hotline at +972 54 6368150 for round-the-clock assistance.”
Adding to Srettha’s statement, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Panpree Phathithanukorn stated: “We yet to receive reports of Thai nationals suffering harm or death in the ongoing conflict. We urge patience and reiterate the importance of adhering to official confirmations to preempt unnecessary panic.”
As it stands, the situation in Israel hangs in the smog of war. Communication lines have been severed, with the Thai ambassador to Israel himself seeking refuge in a hideout. Despite this, the officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are relentlessly trying to establish contact to keep a tabs on the unfolding events.
Prime Minister Srettha has mandated the Air Force to buckle up for immediate evacuation of Thai citizens, should the situation warrant it. Airbus A340 and C-130 aircrafts stand by, ready for an immediate take-off to rescue Thai citizens from Israel. Assessments of airport readiness, medical air transport capabilities and security provisions are underway, in addition to other preparations. These planes, previously deployed in earthquake-ridden Turkey and volatile Sudan, are prepped to spring into action at a moment’s notice to bring Thai nationals back home.
Given that the journey to Israel crosses the airspace of up to nine countries, and could take up to nine hours, the prime minister has stressed the importance of coordinating with these nations to ensure smooth operations. In case of airspace unavailability, the planes may halt in other nations prior to undertaking the evacuation.
Lastly, the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised Thai nationals in Israel needing urgent assistance to get in touch with the Royal Thai Embassy at the posted contact. Further, those inquiring about their relatives in Israel, or needing additional information are encouraged to reach out to the Consular Affairs’ Call Center and the Emergency Protection and Assistance Unit for Thai nationals abroad at the given numbers.