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Thai foreign minister weeps, welcomes Hamas release of Thai workers

Admin By Admin Nov29,2023

Thailand says Palestinian Hamas gunmen from Gaza killed 39 Thais during an Oct 7 rampage into Israel where around 30,000 Thai labourers had been working in the agriculture sector, one of Israel’s largest migrant worker groups.

The Thai foreign ministry said three Thais were being treated for wounds in hospital. Of the 32 taken hostage, 13 remain in captivity. He said he had pinned his hopes on winning their release soon.

On Monday, a Thai Muslim group that spoke directly with Hamas said its efforts were key to ensuring that Thai hostages were among the first to be released in Gaza during a temporary truce with Israeli forces.

“We were the sole party that spoke to Hamas since the beginning of the war to ask for the release of Thais,” Thai-Iran Alumni Association President Lerpong Syed told Reuters on Monday.

Israel says Hamas killed 1,200 people and took about 240 hostages back to Gaza on Oct 7. More than 15,000 people have been killed in Israel’s military campaign, say Palestinian health authorities in Hamas-run Gaza.

Thailand’s population of 70 million are predominantly Buddhist and has largely co-existed peacefully with its Muslim minority, although a long-running separatist insurgency in the south periodically flares into violence.

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