The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) will send two planes to Israel this Sunday to fly 220 Thai evacuees back to Thailand, followed by a third flight next Wednesday to pick up more evacuees, Deputy Foreign Minister Jakkaphong Sangmanee told MPs in the parliament today (Thursday).
The first batch of 15 Thais arrived this morning on an El Al flight, to be followed by a second group of 26 evacuees on the same day, said Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara, adding that the number of Thais wanting to come home has increased to over 6,000 while 16 Thais are now being held hostage by Hamas.
He said that the government has been trying to arrange for more flights to pick up Thai evacuees in Tel Aviv, but added that, if flights can be arranged in Israel, more evacuees will be able to fly home quickly.
The foreign minister disclosed that he will chair a meeting with relevant agencies this afternoon, to consider the second option for evacuation, which is to bring the Thai evacuees, by land, to one of Israel’s neighbouring countries, where they will then board planes for home.
Labour Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said that every Thai returnee will receive 15,000 baht in compensation, while the injured will receive 15,000 baht each and families of the dead will each receive funeral fees of up to 40,000 baht.
He said that the Israeli government, meanwhile, has agreed to provide compensation to the injured of about 1.4 million baht each, while the disabled will receive monthly compensation for life.
He went on to say that the Labour Ministry will try to talk with the Israeli employers or labour recruitment agencies about re-employing the Thai returnees, whose employment contracts have not yet expired, if they want to return to Israel to work when the situation returns to normal.
Deputy Public Health Minister Santi Promphat said the Thai ambassador in Tel Aviv has been trying to send the remains of those who died back home for funerals, adding that, if military planes were allowed to fly to Israel, their return could be accelerated.
Arriving injured Thais will be taken to the ministry’s hospitals for medical treatment.