Thai FM thanks Israel for ‘taking good care’ of freed hostages
Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara met with Israel’s president in Jerusalem on Tuesday and expressed gratitude to the Jewish state for looking after Thai hostages released by Hamas.
Parnpree, who doubles as deputy PM, is in Israel to retrieve 19 Thais so far freed by the militant group.
Seventeen Thai nationals were released during a five-day ceasefire and two more were freed on Wednesday after the truce was extended for two days.
Parnpree thanked Israeli President Isaac Herzog for “taking good care of Thai people, particularly for providing medical care for those who had just been set free”, said a Thai government press release.
He also asked Herzog to address welfare and labour rights issues facing Thai workers so that they can return to work in Israel when the dispute ends.
Herzog expressed Israel’s condolences over the 39 Thais killed in the October 7 attack by Hamas, as well as those injured or taken captive.
He also assured Parnpree that Israel would take good care of Thai labourers who return to the Middle East country, calling them an asset to its agricultural sector.
Israel hosts the second-largest number of Thai migrant workers after Taiwan, according to the Thai Labour Ministry.
About 26,000 Thai nationals worked in Israel before the war with Hamas, accounting for 19% of Thai labourers working abroad. Some 83% – or roughly 21,600 of them – worked in the agricultural sector.
Thailand’s ambassador in Tel Aviv, Pannabha Chandraramya, accompanied Parnpree on his Tuesday visit.