Thai workers 'always welcome' in Israel

Thai workers 'always welcome' in Israel

Tel Aviv to facilitate their plans to return

Workers arrive from Israel at Wing 6 on Oct 26. (Photo: Royal Thai Air Force)
Workers arrive from Israel at Wing 6 on Oct 26. (Photo: Royal Thai Air Force)

Israel has assured the government that all Thai workers who chose to leave the country due to the conflict with Hamas will be able to return once the war ends.

However, Israel's Ambassador to Thailand, Orna Sagiv, said at a media roundtable on Monday on the issue of the Israel-Hamas war that Tel Aviv has yet to receive any updates on the condition of Thai hostages.

"From what I hear, one of the main problems is that the Hamas leader wakes up every day and changes his mind, which is also a problem because it affects the negotiations. But again, I believe it is better to keep that negotiation quiet in order to help them," she said.

Ms Sagiv said Israel has been calling for the immediate release of all hostages regardless of their nationality. The government, she said, is prioritising the rescue of foreign hostages so they can return to their homeland as soon as possible.

When asked about the security of Thais who chose to stay behind despite the conflict, the Israeli ambassador said the 22,000 Thais who didn't want to be evacuated are employed in safe areas, such as in the central region of Israel or near the Avara desert in the south of the country.

Addressing the concerns of Thai workers who fear they might not be able to return to Israel to work, she said that any worker who wants to return to Israel is always welcome.

She said if they want to come back, they have to contact their previous employers. If they could not reach their employers, they could reach the embassy.

"Our point is very clear. Anyone who wants to go back to Israel is always welcome, and we will make sure they do not have to go through a lot of procedures or anything. We want to see all of them come back," she said.

When asked to comment on rumours about Thai workers being underpaid, she said that Israel never pays lower than the minimum wage, and their minimum wages are much higher than other countries in the region.

Meanwhile, in a post on Facebook on Monday, Foreign Affairs Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara said the government is concerned about the safety of the 25 Thais taken hostage by Hamas.

The government is doing all it can to ensure the immediate release of the Thai hostages, and it hopes the war in the Gaza Strip will end and peace will be restored, Mr Parnpree posted.

He also expressed condolences over the deaths of five more Thais in Israel, which raised the total number of fatalities to 39.

On Sunday, the Thai Ambassador to Israel, Pannabha Chandraramya, met with MK Eliyahu Revivo, chairman of Israel's Foreign Workers Committee, to seek their cooperation in rescuing the Thai hostages.

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