Over 30,000 Thai workers want to work in Israel despite unrest

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

The Department of Employment (DoE) announced that over 30,000 Thai workers have shown an interest in seeking employment in Israel, despite the recent upheavals in the region. This follows the news that Thailand has been granted a quota of 5,000 positions in Israel’s agricultural sector for the latter half of this year.

Director-General of the DoE, Somchai Morakotsriwan, highlighted that Israel continues to be a popular destination for Thai workers seeking employment abroad. This is evident in the fact that 30,186 individuals have expressed a desire to work there.

The suspension on sending Thai workers to Israel was lifted by the DoE yesterday, after consultations with concerned agencies and reassurances from the Israeli embassy regarding the safety measures in place for Thai workers.

Somchai emphasised that the Israeli embassy has guaranteed that Thai workers will only be employed in secure areas. Additionally, emergency response plans, inclusive of evacuation procedures, have been put into place in the event of any danger.

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The Population, Immigration, and Border Authority (PIBA) of Israel notified Thailand of the available quota of 5,000 workers in the agricultural sector for the period of June to December.

The initial group of workers set to travel to Israel includes 1,200 individuals whose travel plans were postponed in October and November of the past year due to the Hamas attack on October 7. Somchai stated that these workers will undergo safety training to prepare them for possible emergencies before they depart.

Violent unrest

The Thai embassy in Tel Aviv also issued advice to workers to abide by the safety regulations set by the Israeli authorities, considering the ongoing violence near the Gaza Strip and the northern border area.

Thai workers residing close to these conflict zones are urged to reach out to the embassy for assistance if they find themselves in unsafe situations and require evacuation. The embassy also advises these workers to maintain emergency supplies.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported in February that prior to the Hamas attack, a total of 29,900 Thai labourers were employed in Israel. However, since the attack, 9,697 workers have returned to Thailand, leaving 20,203 still working in Israel, reported Bangkok Post.

The unfortunate aftermath of the Hamas attack saw 39 Thais dead and 23 released, while the fate of the remaining eight Thai hostages is yet unknown.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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