Thai hostages freed: House Speaker’s gratitude shines in Hamas release

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

The release of three Thai hostages held by Hamas was greeted with relief and expressions of gratitude by House Speaker Wan Muhamad Noor Matha. This event, which happened Sunday night, brings the total number of liberated Thai hostages to 17, leaving 15-16 still in captivity.

The House Speaker is optimistic about their liberation during the next ceasefire between Israel and Hamas scheduled for December 4-5.

Wan Muhamad Noor Matha emphasised the innocence of the Thai nationals.

“We have declared that Thai nationals [in Israel] are workers who are breadwinners of their families, not the Hamas group’s or anyone’s rivals. They should be released as soon as possible.”

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The recently freed Thais, Wichian Temthong, Surin Kesungnoen, and Pornsawan Pinakalo, have undergone health examinations in an Israeli hospital, where they received a visit and assistance from embassy staff. All released hostages will receive support from the Thai government and compensation from the Labour Ministry to facilitate their return home.

In addition to the three Thais, 14 Israelis were also released on Sunday. To expedite the return of the freed hostages, Foreign Minister Panpree Bahiddha-Nukara and Chief of the Thai defence forces, General Songwit Noonpackee, departed for Israel.

The speaker assured that the government’s efforts to secure the release of the remaining 15 Thai hostages continue unabated. Following their initial compensation procedures in Israel, the 17 freed Thais will be repatriated.

For Wirat Tanna, whose son Pongsak Tanna has been held captive since October 7, the recent release of Thai hostages, including his son’s supervisor Santi Boonprom, has restored hope. However, he urges the government to hasten the release of the remaining hostages, taking comfort in the fact that his son’s name has not appeared on the deceased list.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin took to Twitter yesterday to share the good news.

“Congratulations. As of November 26 at 8.36pm (local time) the three Thai hostages had arrived at Kerem Shalom checkpoint.”

Read more HERE.

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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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