Envoy warns against early Israel return

Envoy warns against early Israel return

Some workers back via 3rd countries

Pannabha: 1 more hostage confirmed
Pannabha: 1 more hostage confirmed

Thailand's ambassador to Israel has urged Thai labourers who have returned from Israel to reconsider going back to work there while a war is waging.

On the sidelines of an annual meeting involving 97 of the country's top overseas envoys at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pannabha Chandraramya gave an update on the current situation of the Israel-Hamas conflict and the impact on Thai labourers.

She said those who have returned from Israel should wait for the Israel-Hamas conflict to be resolved before deciding if they want to resume their work there.

Ms Pannabha cited a report claiming that some Thai labourers have already made the round trip back to Israel but the number was unknown.

She said she had received information from her networks that they arrived in Israel through third countries.

The Israeli government has provided incentives for foreign labourers who opt to stay and work there.

These have proved irresistible for some Thai workers with huge debts to pay.

"Personally, I want them to wait for a little while because we are trying to evaluate the situation to ensure they are safe before allowing Thai labourers to return,'' Ms Pannabha said.

Around 300 Thais have remained in "red" or danger zones, she said, adding they have done so voluntarily.

Despite the embassy's attempts on several occasions to persuade them to leave, they insisted on staying put, she added.

"Israel confirmed they would allow Thai labourers to return to work there but I would like to suggest to wait until the situation is really safe," she added.

Ms Pannabha said she had been informed that one more Thai hostage has been confirmed by Israel as taken.

That takes the total number of confirmed Thai hostages to 26.

When pressed by reporters on the evacuation plan for Thai hostages, she declined to answer.

However, the route would be somewhere in Israel rather than at the Rafah border crossing adjacent to Egypt, she said.

"Regardless of which route is used, the Royal Thai Embassies in Tel Aviv and Cairo are both ready to work together," she said.

Israel and Hamas agreed a deal on Wednesday to release 50 hostages being held in Gaza during a four-day pause in fighting, according to media reports.

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