Three more Thais released by Hamas

Three more Thais released by Hamas

The three Thai hostages - Pornsawan Pinakalo (third from left), Wichian Temthong (centre) and Surin Kesungnoen (third from right), are greeted by friends at a hospital in Israel after being released by Hamas on Sunday. (Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
The three Thai hostages - Pornsawan Pinakalo (third from left), Wichian Temthong (centre) and Surin Kesungnoen (third from right), are greeted by friends at a hospital in Israel after being released by Hamas on Sunday. (Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Three more Thai nationals have been released by Hamas, raising the number of Thai hostages freed from captivity to 17, the Foreign Ministry announced on Monday.

The three - Wichian Temthong, Surin Kesungnoen and Pornsawan Pinakalo - have been admitted to hospital in Israel for health examination.

They were among 17 hostages released on Sunday. The 14 others were Israeli nationals.

Embassy staff visited them at the hospital and provided assistance. It was arranged for them to call their families back in Thailand.

The Foreign Ministry statement congratulated the families and thanked all who have been involved in negotiations for their release.

The government would continue to do its best to get the 15 other Thais believed still held hostage released as soon as possible.

The 17 Thais who have been freed so far would be repatriated to Thailand as soon as they complete the initial compensation process in Israel, the ministry said.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin posted the following message on X (Twitter) on Monday: "Congratulations. As of Nov 26 at 8.36pm (local time) the three Thai hostages had arrived at Kerem Shalom checkpoint.

"From an initial physical examination, they were in good health and none needed emergency medical treatment. All could talk and walk normally."

Thai ambassador to Israel Pannabha Chandraramya said the director of the Israeli prime minister's office, Yossi Shelly, on Sunday paid a visit to the Thais who were earlier released, at Shamir Medical Centre.

Mr Shelly congratulated them on arriving safely back in Israel. He said the Israeli government would give assistance and medical care to them all and thanked them for having contributed greatly to the farming sector of Israel.

Foreign Minister Panpree Bahiddha-Nukara and Gen Songwit Noonpackee, chief of the Thai defence forces, will leave for Israel on Monday night to bring home the released hostages.

Deputy Foreign Minister Jakkapong Sangmanee said they were expected to return a few days later with the released Thais on a commercial flight. The Ministry of Labour would coordinate with the Israeli government on the matter of compensation.

Mr Jakkapong said there were good signs that more hostages would be freed by Hamas.

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