Another Thai worker is confirmed to have been taken hostage, raising the total to 25 since the Hamas offensive against Israel began on Oct 7, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Thursday.
The ministry said the newly announced hostage-taking took place on the first day of hostilities but had just been confirmed by Israeli authorities.
As of Nov 8, the number of Thai workers killed stood at 34, with 19 other injured, four of them still in hospital.
The bodies of another eight workers who were killed in the Hamas raids arrived back in Thailand on Thursday afternoon. It was previously reported that there would be seven, but authorities said the remains of Kraisorn Thumyoma were also repatriated.
Israeli ambassador Orna Sagiv gives a wai to pay respects to Thai workers killed during the Hamas attack on Israel. (Photo: Ministry of Labour)
The plane carrying the bodies departed at 3.30pm Wednesday (Israel time) following a ceremony at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv.
Pannabha Chandraramya, the ambassador to Israel, and Sakdinart Sonthisakdiyothin, an inspector with the Social Security Office, represented Thailand at the ceremony.
Israel was represented by Rafael Harpaz, a deputy permanent secretary of the Foreign Ministry, Shoshi Reshel Mor, director of Foreign Trade Division, and officials from the Consular Affairs Department.
Mr Harpaz laid a wreath and delivered a speech of condolences. He expressed deep regrets for the deaths of the eight Thais, saying they had come from afar to work hard in the Israeli agricultural sector for their families back home.
He said Israel had full respect for the rights of the deceased and expressed hope for a quick and safe release of those taken hostage.
The Thai workers held hostage by Hamas are expected to be among the first of some 250 hostages to be released, as Foreign Affairs Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara said most were being held in relatively safe areas.
Aree Krainara, secretary to the labour minister, pays respects to the bodies of the eight Thai workers as a Buddhist monk performs a religious ceremony when the bodies arrive home on Thursday afternoon. (Photo: Ministry of Labour)