Six Thai hostages set to return after release by Hamas

Six Thai hostages set to return after release by Hamas
Six Thai hostages set to return after release by Hamas

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Thai nationals who were taken hostage by Hamas militants and recently released, wave from inside a bus as they leave the Shamir Medical Center near the city of Ramla, heading toward the airport to be flown home, on November 29, 2023. — AFP pic

BANGKOK, Dec 4 — Six Thai hostages kidnapped and held for weeks in the Gaza Strip by Hamas will arrive back in the kingdom on Monday, officials said.

Tens of thousands of Thais were working in Israel, mostly in the agricultural sector, when Palestinian militants poured over the border on October 7, killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapping roughly 240, according to Israeli authorities.

At least 32 Thais were abducted by Hamas, with Bangkok’s foreign ministry and Thai Muslim groups working to negotiate their release.

On Monday, at around 2:00pm (0700 GMT), six are expected to land at the capital’s Suvarnabhumi airport following weeks in captivity.


Since their release, the group have been recuperating at a hospital in Israel as authorities made preparations to fly them home.

It follows the return of 17 citizens from Thailand at the end of November, during a temporary truce that saw scores of people released before it expired on December 1.

Another nine Thais are still among the hostages taken by Palestinian militants during October’s cross-border raid into Israel, according to Bangkok’s foreign ministry.


Israel has responded to Hamas’s October 7 attack with a massive campaign of air, artillery and naval strikes alongside a ground offensive into Gaza, killing more than 15,500 people, mostly civilians, according to Palestinian officials.

Thailand had 30,000 citizens in Israel when the raid occurred, the majority of them migrant workers from poorer provinces in the kingdom’s northeast.

Thirty-nine Thais have been killed and 19 wounded in the war, with the kingdom evacuating more than 8,500 of its people, according to Thailand’s foreign ministry. — AFP

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