SUNDAY, April 14, 2024

Israel-Palestine war: Thailand adopts neutral stance

Israel-Palestine war: Thailand adopts neutral stance

Thailand’s stance towards the deadly Hamas-led attack against Israel is one of neutrality, and the Kingdom promotes a solution that would allow Palestine and Israel to coexist, Jakkapong Sangmanee, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, said on Sunday night.

Jakkapong was summarising the results of a meeting of the ministry’s Rapid Response Centre.

Hamas militants fired thousands of rockets and sent dozens of fighters into Israeli towns near the Gaza Strip in a surprise attack on Saturday morning.

After the attack, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that his country was “at war” with Hamas.

Jakkapong said that Thailand condemns the use of violence, without specifying any group, and urged both sides to negotiate for a peaceful and sustainable solution.

The Thai embassy on Sunday confirmed that two Thai workers have been killed and 11 have been captured. Eight other Thais have been injured, two of whom are in critical condition.

Jakkapong said around 30,000 Thais reside in Israel, most of whom are workers in the agricultural sector.

He added that the ministry had received reports that 12 Thais had been killed but so far only two deaths had been confirmed by the authorities on the ground. The other 10 fatalities were reported by their employers and have not been verified.

He said the meeting agreed to prioritise evacuating Thais from the conflict zone to safe areas, as well as coordinating with friendly countries to help in the evacuation.

Jakkapong added that Royal Thai Airforce planes would be ready for an evacuation mission in 24 hours, but return to Thailand would be on a voluntary basis.

The ministry has also contacted Palestinian representatives in Kuala Lumpur to convey the government’s concern about the safety of Thais taken hostage, and urged for their immediate release as they are innocent civilians with no connection to either side.