11 Thais in Israel miss first evacuation flight, death toll rises to 20

Photo by Fatima Shbair via AP

The Prime Minister of Thailand reported yesterday that the death toll of Thais in Israel had climbed to 20. In addition to this distressing news, 11 Thai citizens who were expected to return to Thailand today, October 12, had not yet reached the designated meeting point.

According to the latest update from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 20 Thai nationals have lost their lives in the recent conflict between the Hamas group and Israel, 13 Thais have been injured and 14 others are being held captive in various locations.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Royal Thai Embassy in Tel Aviv urged Thais in Israel who wish to return to Thailand to register online so that the authorities can facilitate their travel. To date, 5,019 people have registered.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin expressed his condolences to the families of the victims.

“From the number of deaths, I admit that Thailand is one of the countries that has lost the most. I hope the Israeli government will be sympathetic and help Thailand with the military vehicles to send the Thai people back home as soon as possible.”

Prime Minister Srettha admitted that the conflict had worsened, with 11 out of 15 people who were due to return to Thailand on the first evacuation flights unable to make it to the meeting point at the Royal Thai Embassy. Many roads are closed and the only transport now relies on Israeli military vehicles.

Injured Thais

The 61 year old prime minister revealed that only four Thais on the list had made it. They were injured but in a stable condition.

According to the PM, the government would coordinate with several airlines, such as NokAir, AirAsia and Thai Airways, to get more planes to pick up Thai nationals from Israel. The PM expected that the government would have more than nine planes ready for evacuation.

The PM stressed that the amount of money spent on the evacuation was not important. He focused on the safety of the Thai people and was willing to pay for their return.

Three Thai men successfully returned to Thailand from Israel via Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport yesterday. Two of them were agricultural workers in Israel. They told ThaiRath that they had worked in Israel for five years, according to their employment contract, and had booked flights home about 10 days before the Hamas attack.

They were happy to arrive safely in Thailand but still felt sorry for the families of the Thai workers who lost their lives in the incident.

One of the Thai workers revealed that his income in Israel was much higher than when he worked in Thailand. He earned 300 to 400 baht a day in Thailand but makes 2,000 baht a day in Israel. He had spent five years working in Israel and had never encountered such a serious conflict before.

Another Thai man who arrived in Thailand yesterday revealed that he visits Jerusalem almost every year and spends about 10 days there. He explained that the city was far from the main area of conflict and safer. However, he did note that he heard the attacks and expressed his concerns regarding the situation.

The man mentioned that Israel had not closed its airspace, but flights to areas near the conflict zone were subject to cancellations due to the ongoing hostilities.

Follow more of The Thaiger’s latest stories on our new Facebook page HERE

Thailand NewsWorld News

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

Related Articles