Sunday, December 10, 2023
HomethailandgeneralBodies of first eight Thais head home

Bodies of first eight Thais head home

The remains of eight Thai nationals killed in Israel during the Israel-Hamas war were last night sent back to Thailand on a flight scheduled to arrive at Suvarnabhumi airport at 8.50am today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said yesterday.

Thirty Thais have died in the region as a result of the conflict, with 16 others injured and another 17 held hostage. The other 22 bodies are expected to be repatriated shortly.

The bodies arriving today — all males — were released after Israel’s national forensic institute finished formally verifying their identities, said MFA spokeswoman Kanchana Patarachoke, citing information supplied by the Royal Thai Embassy in Tel Aviv.

They have been identified as Pongsathorn Khunsri, Pichit Nachan, Chairat Sanusan, Anan Phetkaew, Pongpat Suchart, Anucha Sophakul, Pongthep Kusaram and Thanakrij Prakotwong.

Of the 8,273 Thais who have registered to return to Thailand on evacuation flights, 1,424 have arrived, according to the latest figures from the MFA and the Ministry of Labour yesterday.

From Sunday, the MFA expects the repatriation capacity to increase to 600 people per day as evacuation flights are being dispatched from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, where Thai people will be transferred from Israel.

The operation is expected to wrap up by early November, she said.

Another 225 Thais arrived back in Thailand yesterday from the restive region on two flights, one operated by Israel’s El Al Airlines and the other by the Royal Thai Air Force.

Thai Airways International, one of the airlines supporting the operation, said it was preparing about 100 pilots and 400 crew for the job.

Meanwhile, the Department of Employment yesterday pledged to assist Thai workers who have lost their jobs in Israel as they seek new ones upon their return home.

Some will likely be contracted to work on farms in South Korea, said Boonyavee Kwaipan, deputy director-general of the department.

For those interested in returning to Israel, the department has made arrangements with 12 Israeli job replacement companies to take them back.

Those who prefer to secure employment in Thailand have 60,000 openings to apply for, she said.

The Ministry of Justice will step in to help workers who borrowed money to fund their trip to Israel and still have to repay their debts, she added.

It will assist them with debt-settlement negotiations and the Legal Execution Department, she said.

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