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More charter flights to evacuate Thais from Israel

Written by World Events

Additional charter flights have been arranged for today and tomorrow to evacuate Thais from Israel. The embassy in Tel Aviv is urging Thais to report to the evacuation centre, at a hotel in the Israeli capital, if they want to be repatriated.

Earlier, the Thai Foreign Ministry had said that no more charter flights would be arranged, after the last evacuation flight on Wednesday, unless there are enough evacuees to justify additional flights.

Meanwhile, Labour Permanent Secretary Pairoj Chotikasathien said that he has learned, from the Israeli ambassador in Thailand, that there are about 60 unidentified people of Asian origin who have been killed in Israel and it is unknown whether there are any Thais among them.

To date, 8,602 Thais, including some students, have been repatriated, he said, adding that about 15,000 Thai workers are still in Israel and about 5,000 in Gaza.

He also said that it is not known how many of the 5,000 Thai workers have been evacuated from Gaza, but Israeli officials have told the Thai embassy that they will do their best to extract them to safety.

According to the Thai Foreign Ministry’s web page, Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara held talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in Cairo yesterday, during which Parnpree asked Egypt to open the crossing at Rafah, to allow Thai hostages through, if or when they are released by Hamas.

Twenty-two Thais are believed to be held captive, but Hamas have insisted that they only have 19, who are now safe, and they promised to release them when the Israeli bombardment of Gaza ceases.

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