Heartbreaking twist: Thai mother identifies son in Israel-Gaza conflict via social media

Kraun Phansa-at and Noopa Phansa-at expressed their grief at the loss of their son in Israel. Picture courtesy of KhaoSod English.

Thai mother Nupha Phansa-at is grieving the heartbreaking loss of her son in the Israel-Gaza conflict that escalated on Saturday. After viewing a victim’s photo on social media, the 63 year old Thai mother recognised her son’s clothing and came to the horrifying realisation that he was among the casualties of the Israel-Gaza conflict.

Nupha received the grim news from her daughter, Somkhwan’s older sister, at 4am on Sunday. The news was followed by a series of visits from local officials who offered moral support and discussed plans to repatriate the body of her son, Somkhwan, for the funeral. This took place in Nupha’s home in tambon Khamin, located in Kalasin’s Muang district.

“Before the bad news came, my son, who usually called me on the phone from Israel, recently told me the situation there was unusual. I then told him to come home.

“I didn’t want his money but him to come home safe.”

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Somkhwan, a former soldier, left Thailand for Israel on November 9 last year after getting married and moving to Nakhon Phanom. He had taken out a loan of 120,000 baht to fund his trip to Israel and was earning 80,000 baht per month, according to his Thai mother.

Suphachai Waengkham, a senior official at Kalasin’s Office of Employment, disclosed that 121 out of the 230 Thai workers from the province who went to Israel were located in the southern region where the violent conflict erupted.

Identifying workers

Meanwhile, in Chaiyaphum, deputy provincial governor Sombat Traisak announced on Monday that 772 legal workers from the province have gone to Israel. The authorities are currently working on identifying additional workers who went illegally.

In another case, Sairung Miwut from Phu Khieo district was able to communicate with her husband, Worachet, through a video call. Despite her desire for him to return home immediately, Worachet chose to stay.

“Let me stay here for a while longer. Many others are likely to do the same as we all need more money to send back home.”

Thai mother Sa Tonsoki, in Phon Sawan district of Nakhon Phanom, is still unable to contact her 40 year old son, Phatthayut Tonsoki, 40, since the Israel-Gaza conflict started.

The Bangkok Post talked to Natthawut Nakmao, a 30 year old Thai worker in Israel and Nakhon Ratchasima native, via video link.

He confirmed that he was safe but expressed concern for his fellow worker, Phongsathon, who was in the war zone and uncontactable since the start of the Israel-Gaza conflict.

Heartbreaking twist: Thai mother identifies son in Israel-Gaza conflict via social media | News by Thaiger
A woman in Nakhon Phanom calls a family member working in Israel who is caught up in the violent conflict. Picture courtesy of Pattanapong Sripiachai.

Phongsathon was named among the 11 Thai workers taken hostage during Saturday’s attacks, according to Atsuek Chanahan, acting Nakhon Ratchasima governor. His last name is Khunsi, and he is 25 years old, said Atsuek. Phongsathon had lived and worked in southern Israel for over a year before the attack.

Now, the family of this Phongsathon in Nakhon Ratchasima is desperately hoping that their relative is not the same Phongsathon being held hostage.

Some 2,163 workers from Nakhon Ratchasima are engaged in agricultural work in Israel, said Atsuek.

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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