Two more Thai hostages held by Hamas freed

Two more Thai hostages held by Hamas freed

Two Thai men, who have been freed by Hamas in Gaza, are greeted by Foreign Affairs Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara on Wednesday. (Photo: Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara's X social media platform)
Two Thai men, who have been freed by Hamas in Gaza, are greeted by Foreign Affairs Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara on Wednesday. (Photo: Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara's X social media platform)

Foreign Affairs Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara welcomed on Wednesday the release of two more Thai hostages who had been held by Hamas in Gaza, the latest to be freed under a temporary truce between Israel and Hamas.

"Happy to personally welcome two additional Thai hostages just released and arrived at the hospital in Tel Aviv," Mr Parnpree, who is also deputy prime minister, posted on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

"A totally warm feeling to see how the former 17 were lining up to welcome and give moral support to the two newcomers," he said.

Nineteen Thai hostages have so far been released, while the Foreign Ministry says 13 more remain in captivity. There were 39 Thai nationals killed in the Oct 7 attack by Hamas.

A Thai Muslim group that spoke directly with Hamas said on Monday its efforts were key to ensuring Thai hostages were among the first to be released. A Foreign Ministry spokesperson said multiple actors were consulted.

Before the Israel-Hamas war, about 30,000 Thai labourers worked in Israel's agriculture sector, comprising one of the largest migrant worker groups in the country.

Nearly 9,000 have been repatriated, according to the government.

The Thai citizens released are slated to return home this week as Mr Parnpree visits Israel.

On Monday, Hamas released three Thai nationals.

On Tuesday, Hamas released an additional 10 Israeli hostages along with the two Thais, according to the Israeli prime minister's office, bringing the total of freed hostages to 81 during the five-day cease-fire, which was extended for two days from Tuesday.

In turn, Israel freed 30 Palestinian prisoners, according to the Qatari government that mediated the swap deal. Israel has freed a total of 180 Palestinians during the five-day period, according to the Israeli prime minister's office.

Thai Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and Israeli Health Minister Uriel Bosso meet Thai citizens who were released from the Gaza Strip after being taken hostage by gunmen from Palestinian Islamist militant group Hamas during the deadly Oct 7 attack on Israel, at Shamir Medical Center (Assaf Harofeh) where they are undergoing mental health recuperation, in Be'er Ya'akov, Israel, on Tuesday. (Photo: Reuters)

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