The unfortunate saga of Thai laborers caught in an escalating conflict in Israel has taken another tragic turn with the announcement of a 21st reported casualty. Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin of Thailand issued this grim update early in the day on October 12. The context of this update is a steady stream of violence that followed an offensive triggered by Hamas this past weekend.
Using this sorrowful platform at 9:10 am Malaysian time, PM Srettha presented this news without delving into details surrounding the most recent casualty. The brunt of the previous 20 fatalities involving Thai workers stemmed directly from an assault staged by militants from the Gaza-based organization, Hamas, on 7 September, or from the subsequent rocket attacks.
In response to the rapidly escalating events, Thai governmental officials are brainstorming potential strategies to quickly and safely extricate their countrymen from a turbulent conflict zone. The Thai Prime Minister, aged 61, hinted that evacuation by sea seemed like the most practical strategy at this point. However, this method would necessitate crossing the Gaza Strip, currently known as a hot bed for high-risk incidents, thus causing this option to be discarded.
One alternative that has presented itself is overland evacuation through Jordan. The Thai prime minister also forwarded information that the deployment of additional manpower to Israel was in the pipeline, intended to accelerate and assure safer evacuations. He declared that a group consisting of 15 Thai nationals had already completed their exit from Israel, and their expected time of arrival in Thailand was at 11pm that very day, a statement as reported by the Bangkok Post.
Interestingly, eleven Thai nationals who were nested in Israel were missing from the first evacuation flight. Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin had previously disclosed that the death toll of Thais in Israel as a direct consequence of the intense stand-off between Hamas and Israel had touched 20. Additionally, it was found that eleven Thai nationals who were meant to be flying back to Thailand that day, October 12, were nowhere to be seen at the designated gathering point.
Broadening the scope of their efforts, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Royal Thai Embassy issued an appeal to their citizens residing in Israel to register online to receive travel assistance. So far, the online registration drive has seen a success, with a total of 5,019 individuals enrolling themselves.
In a somber note, the Thai PM offered his condolences for the unfortunate casualties and respectfully sought the Israeli government’s assistance for the evacuation of Thai citizens. He briefly touched upon the aggravating situation and the ensuing difficulties in returning Thais back to safe soils, which requires the usage of Israeli armed vehicular units. To learn more about these developments, click HERE. For continuing updates and compelling news pieces, please visit our latest news compilation on our Facebook page HERE.