Wan thanks negotiators as more Thai hostages freed

Wan thanks negotiators as more Thai hostages freed

House Speaker Wan Muhamad Noor Matha
House Speaker Wan Muhamad Noor Matha

House Speaker Wan Muhamad Noor Matha expressed his gratitude to those who were involved in the negotiations leading to the release of three Thai hostages held by Hamas on Sunday night.

This raises the number of freed Thai hostages to 17. Mr Wan said that the remaining 15-16 Thai hostages might be set free during the next ceasefire between Israel and Hamas on Dec 4-5.

"We have declared that Thai nationals [in Israel] are workers who are breadwinners of their families, not the Hamas group's or anyone's rivals. They should be released as soon as possible," he said.

The three freed Thai nationals -- Wichian Temthong, Surin Kesungnoen and Pornsawan Pinakalo -- have been admitted to a hospital in Israel for health examinations. Embassy staff visited them at the hospital and provided them with assistance.

The House speaker noted that all the released hostages will be assisted in getting home by the Thai government and compensated by the Labour Ministry.

The three freed Thais were among 17 hostages released on Sunday. The 14 others were Israeli nationals.

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

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

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 of Foreign Affairs said.

Wirat Tanna, the father of a Thai worker in Israel, Pongsak Tanna, who has been held captive since Oct 7, said he has become hopeful again after seeing the recent release of Thai hostages by Hamas.

One of the released hostages was Santi Boonprom, who was a supervisor of Mr Wirat's son in Israel and had been captured at the same time.

Mr Wirat said he was relieved that his son's name has not yet appeared on the list of the deceased, but he has urged the government to speed up the release of Thai hostages as soon as possible.

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