The government is planning a mass evacuation of Thais in Israel as the Israel-Gaza war is expected to escalate, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said.
He was speaking after chairing his first meeting of the National Defence Council on Thursday.
He said he was briefed that the war is likely to escalate into a regional conflict in the Middle East, and several countries whose citizens were evacuated from Israel to Jordan and Lebanon have discussed plans to bring their citizens back home.
Thailand will also assess the situation and inform Thais in Israel about the possibility of the war escalating, Mr Srettha said.
"We have learned that cyber warfare will be waged and drones will also be used. This makes us concerned the war will spread to [Israel's] neighbouring countries," he said.
He went on to say nearly all Thais in Israel who registered for repatriation have already returned home.
However, the government is still concerned about those who choose to remain, he noted.
"Things are also becoming complicated as the number of Thai workers who choose to remain in Israel is still not known. According to security agencies, there is a sizeable number, and many are illegal workers.
"But that is not a big issue. Our main concern is to find out where they are to inform them of the severity of the situation," the prime minister said. "Even though they are illegal workers, we are still willing to bring them home.
"For those who remain in Israel, we want to make sure we can communicate directly with them to tell them how serious the situation is.
"I will instruct the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Labour Ministry to find their names and telephone numbers," Mr Srettha said.
The government is also working hard to help Thais taken hostage by Hamas, he said, adding he met cabinet ministers handling economic affairs and energy for talks on how to deal with the possible economic impact of a bigger war.
Phairoj Chotikasatien, permanent secretary for the Labour Ministry, said about 20,000 Thai workers wish to continue working in Israel as they are not in conflict zones.
"We cannot force them to return home, but the government does not want any Thais there to risk their lives," he said.
He added that according to Israeli authorities, about 60 bodies have yet to be identified.
"The Israeli authorities only said they are Asians, and we hope there are no Thais among them."
According to the Labour Ministry's Facebook page, 21,229 Thai workers remain in Israel, and 8,637 had returned home as of yesterday. Twenty-three were taken hostage, with 18 more injured and 34 killed. Some 26 bodies have now been repatriated.
Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara on Wednesday met Sameh Hassan Shoukry, Egypt's Foreign Minister, in Cairo.
The two sides confirmed their joint stance with the international community in calling for an immediate and sustained humanitarian truce.
They also voiced support for constructive dialogue between Israel and Palestinians to find a peaceful and sustainable solution.
Mr Parnpree asked his Egyptian counterpart for support in finding ways to ensure the immediate release of the hostages, both Thai and other nationals, as well as access to the Rafah border crossing for released Thai hostages.
They exchanged views on regional issues of common interest, while Thailand commended Egypt's active role in the global arena.
The two sides also discussed their longstanding cooperation with an eye on the 70th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations in 2024.
They confirmed their readiness to promote cooperation in several areas through existing mechanisms for the mutual benefit of both.
Mr Srettha wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, that his Malaysian counterpart had phoned him to express his concern for the Thai hostages held by Hamas.
He said Malaysia was ready to help the Thai government in safely repatriating all the Thai workers.