Five more Thai workers confirmed dead

Five more Thai workers confirmed dead

Five more Thais working in Israel have been confirmed dead, raising the total number of fatalities to 39, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

Citing the Thai embassy in Tel Aviv, the ministry said yesterday Israeli authorities have finished identifying the victims and noted a further five Thai nationals among them.

As of Nov 10, the number of Thai workers killed stands at 39 with 19 others injured and 25 taken hostage. Of the injured, four are still in hospital.

Pannabha Chandraramya, the ambassador to Israel, and Sakdinart Sonthisakdiyothin, an inspector with the Social Security Office, visited three of the injured on Friday.

The trio, who remain hospitalised at the Tel Hashomer Sheba and Shamir Medical Center/Assaf Harofe, are making a good recovery, the MFA said, adding the officials are making plans to visit the other injured.

Labour Permanent Secretary Pairote Chotikasathien said yesterday more than 6,000 Thai workers have applied for compensation from a fund for overseas workers.

Of these, about 3,000 have been paid and the rest are expected to receive the compensation, at 15,000 baht each, within one week, he said, adding some workers face payment delays due to paperwork problems.

He said the returnees will also receive additional compensation of 50,000 baht each. The payment was approved in principle by the prime minister, adding the families of those who were killed and the workers who returned with re-entry permits before the violence broke out will also be paid.

The financial relief is expected to be tabled for the cabinet approval tomorrow, he said.

On the refund for travel expenses, he said provincial labour offices are gathering documents from workers to process the refund requests. About 2,400 requests have been submitted, with 1,100 seeking refunds for air tickets and the rest for airport transfers in Israel, he said.

According to Thai officials, there were about 30,000 Thai workers in Israel before the Oct 7 cross-border raids by the Palestinian terror group Hamas. Some 8,000 have since been repatriated and over 20,000 Thai workers have chosen to stay despite the worsening conflict.

Efforts to secure the release of those being held captive are still ongoing with Foreign Affairs Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara saying last week the Thais hostages are expected to be among the first of some 250 hostages to be freed as they were being held in relatively safe areas.

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