By Nuntida Puangthong,
The Foreign Ministry yesterday urged Israel to relocate more than 4,000 Thai nationals working in agriculture estates near the Gaza strip after a Thai worker was killed on Wednesday.
The Thai Embassy also advised Thai nationals to stop working in areas near Gaza.
Following the death of Narakorn Kittiyangkul, 36, in a mortar shell attack in a southern Israeli city on Wednesday, Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Sek Wannamethee said the ministry had set up a centre to monitor the Israel-Palestine conflict around the clock.
So far, 38 Thai workers have asked to be relocated, he said.
“The Thai Embassy has contacted the Israeli Foreign Ministry and 96 farm employers to ask them to immediately and unconditionally relocate the Thai workers near Gaza to a safer place 10-20km away,” Sek said. “But we will not evacuate Thai workers out of Israel yet.”
The ministry urged some 28,000 Thai workers in Israel to constantly monitor the situation and contact the embassy in case of emergency on one of the following numbers: +972-9 954-8412-13, +972- 54-469-3476, +972-54-469-3477, +972-54-636-8150, and +972-50-537-0759/-431-8830.
National Council for Peace and Order chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha urged the Foreign and Labour ministries to monitor the situation in Israel closely following Narakorn’s death, said NCPO spokeswoman Colonel Sirichan Nga-thong.
Prayuth also instructed all agencies to provide safety for Thai people in Israel and to accommodate those workers wishing to return to Thailand, she said.
The Labour Ministry’s Employment Department chief, Sumet Mahosot, said the agency told Narakorn’s father Bancha Kittiyangkul that his son’s body would be sent to Bangkok before the department would transfer it to Narakorn’s home province, Nan.
Sumet said Narakorn had arrived in Israel on June 24 and the department would give his family Bt40,000 from the fund to assist Thai workers abroad, in addition to insurance money.
Narakorn’s aunt Patcharaporn Kittiyangkul said she was told the body would arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport this afternoon.
She said her nephew was a hard worker who used to be a Bangkok taxi driver.
He went to Israel to earn money to support his farming family and borrowed Bt100,000 from relatives to fund the trip.