Recently, a total of 33 Thai students who found themselves ensnared in the escalating conflict fueled by the Hamas militant group in Israel finally set foot on Thai soil again. Extracted from the fervor of the battlefront, these students were flown back in dedicated charter flights on Monday evening. The Israeli-based El Al flight brought back 244 Thai returnees, with the students intertwined in the mix. It lifted off from Ben Gurion Airport located at Tel Aviv at approximately 6:20 am, within the Israeli time zone.
This charter flight, bearing the weary souls from the land of blood and dust, made its awaited landing at Suvarnabhumi airport at exactly 7:05 pm, as per Thai local time. These evacuated students comprised 30 individuals from the Princess of Naradhiwas University (PNU) and the rest from Sakonnakhon Rajabhat University. It was these enthusiastic blossoms that had set sail for Israel to participate in an esteemed training programme rolled out by Arava International Centre for Agricultural Training (Aicat). The Aicat is comfortably nestled within the tranquil commune of Sapir, situated towards the southern border of Israel. Notably, Sapir is but 100 kilometres away from the heated arenas of the violent clashes.
However, the departure of these students left behind their 82 Thai compatriots who were unable to accompany the return shipment due to inadequate paperwork completion mandatory for the government. Previously, the Senate was unwavering in its demand to the government to evacuate over a 100 students from the aforementioned agricultural training center. Despite the Arava Desert being underscored as a safe haven thus far, worries ran high amongst Senators Songdetch Samuerkham and Ronwarit Pariyachadtrakul. The Senators ventilated their fears in a meeting regarding the rapid intensification of the situation which could leave the students stranded and helpless in the face of violence.
In a concurrent scenario, the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation (MHESRI) has committed to joining forces with the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre (SBPAC). The objective is to develop a plan for the seamless evacuation of students hailing from the southern provinces of Thailand, currently in Israel. As per instructions dished out by Minister Supamas Isarabhakdi, Pechdau Tohmeena, an esteemed adviser for the MHESRI, began compiling pivotal information regarding the status of students in the hot-bed region. Dr Pechdau revealed that the MHESRI had been mounting pressure for the provision of special care towards the students in Israel via the Thai embassy located in Tel Aviv.