Uncertainty over Thai hostages release in Israel-Hamas prisoner exchange

Photo: Victor R Caivano/AP

A prisoner exchange agreement between Israel and Hamas sparked questions about the fate of Thai hostages, yet the Foreign Affairs Ministry remains uncertain about their release. The ministry has been unable to ascertain whether any of the Thai workers detained by Hamas will be among the initial 50 hostages set free.

Kanchana Patarachoke, the ministry’s spokeswoman, revealed that information about the release of Thai hostages in Gaza had not been received. She confirmed that only one Thai hostage is a woman, refuting circulating rumours of her pregnancy. The woman’s family, she said, had confirmed that she was not expecting, Kanchana stated.

“The Thai embassy in Tel Aviv has been following the situation regarding the Thai hostages.”

During a press conference at the Iranian embassy in Bangkok, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Ali Bagheri Kani, touched on the Middle East crisis. He was wrapping up a two-day visit aimed at strengthening bilateral ties with Thailand.

Regarding the release of Thai hostages, Kani explained that Tehran has maintained communication with Hamas, their friends, since the war with Israel commenced on October 7. He relayed that the resistance movement signalled that as long as the conflict continues, there is no possibility of releasing prisoners of war.

On the question of freeing Thai hostages, he admitted that Iran was unable to access information from Gaza due to severed communication. Therefore, it is essential to verify information with Israel. Responding to Israel’s criticism of Iran’s role in the war, he asserted that Iran would persist in backing any movement that championed people’s rights worldwide, including Palestinians.

After over six weeks of war, Israel and Hamas announced a temporary ceasefire on Wednesday. This truce was to facilitate the release of 50 hostages, primarily women and children, in exchange for 150 Palestinian women and other detainees in Israeli prisons, reported Bangkok Post.

The hostages were captured from homes along the Israeli border, military bases, and a significant outdoor music festival. The total number of foreign captives stands at 240, hailing from 40 countries, amongst which are 26 Thais.

Thailand News

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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