25 Thais could be free 'in 3-10 days'

25 Thais could be free 'in 3-10 days'

Israeli soldiers take part in an operation against Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in a location given as Gaza in this handout image released on November 16, 2023. (Photo: Reuters)
Israeli soldiers take part in an operation against Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in a location given as Gaza in this handout image released on November 16, 2023. (Photo: Reuters)

About 25 Thais in Gaza will be among the first 50 hostages released by the Palestinian militant group Hamas, likely within the next three to 10 days, according to the team of negotiators handling the situation.

Muk Sulaiman, the House speaker's secretary who is acting as a representative of the House speaker for the negotiations in Israel, provided an update in parliament on Thursday on the progress of the talks.

"After hearing from the negotiating team, I was relieved to learn the Thai workers over there are all safe. The hostages have not been released, and they won't be until the fighting ceases," he said.

"Many countries and also Hamas are applying pressure on Israel to accept a [temporary] ceasefire.

"I urge all the Thai workers who are still working in Israel to revise their decision and return to Thailand for their own safety," Mr Muk added.

Lerpong Sayed, president of the Thai-Iran Alumni Association, who is also acting as a representative of the negotiators, said the United Nations has called on Israel to agree to a humanitarian ceasefire for 72 hours to create a window during which the hostages can be given assistance.

After following up on the situation, the team received a report that Hamas was preparing to release 50 hostages.

The team called on the group to release all 25 Thai hostages, which they promised to do.

"I hope we will hear good news within three days at the earliest, or 10 days at the latest. The location where the hostages will be set free has not been confirmed yet, but the Iranian border is one option," said Mr Lerpong.

He said the conflict keeps escalating as Israel is seemingly launching attacks on hospitals and other such venues without considering humanitarian principles.

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