Thai workers who returned to Thailand during the war between Israel and Hamas while their employment contracts, not exceeding five years and three months, are still valid can return to Israel without the need for a re-entry visa, but they should contact their employment agency first, according to the Thai Foreign Ministry, quoting a circular letter from the Israeli Population and Immigration Office.
Most of those who have returned from Israel for safety, following the Hamas attacks, have not completed the term oftheir employment contracts. Many told the Thai media that they will not return to work in Israel again, even though they still have substantial outstanding debt to settle, after they borrowed from banks or private lenders to cover the expenses incurred in going to work in Israel.
The Foreign Ministry said, as of today (Tuesday), 7,936 Thais have applied to be repatriated and 101 others say they will not return to Thailand. The Thai death toll remains at 29 and 17 are still being held captive. 16 have been injured.
Meanwhile, Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said, via the government website while in China, that there are positive signs about the possible release of Thai hostages, after having spoken with several government leaders during the international forum on China’s Belt and Road Initiative in Beijing, but he declined to offer any details.
He did say, however, that the government has secured additional flights to bring more Thais back home from Israel, adding that officials have approached two more airlines, Qatar and Emirates, about chartering their Airbus-380 aircraft, which are capable of carrying more passengers, but the deal is not done yet.