Dozen Thai nationals released after being held hostage in Gaza

A dozen Thai nationals who were being held hostage in Gaza have been released, confirmed by Thailand’s Prime Minister, Srettha Thavisin. The hostages were captured by Hamas in an attack on 7th October. The details of their identities have not been revealed yet, but officials are on their way to collect them. It should be noted that their release is not part of a broader ceasefire deal. The ceasefire agreement negotiated by Qatar has led to a four-day pause in fighting and the release of 50 Israeli hostages from Gaza. In return, 150 Palestinians detained in Israel will be released, expected to be mainly women and children. Despite this, it was reported that Hamas may unilaterally release the Thai nationals.

The attack on 7th October had a disproportionate impact on Thai nationals, as around 30,000 Thai citizens are working in Israel, primarily in agriculture. Tragically, at least 30 Thai citizens lost their lives in the raids. The families of the hostages now face an anxious wait to find out if their loved ones are among those released. Thongkoon Onkaew, the mother of Natthaporn Onkaew, a 26-year-old Thai farmer, expressed her desperation and hope for her son’s safe release. Wanida Maarsa, the wife of Anucha Angkaew, 28, also shared her anticipation for news of her husband’s freedom.

The release of the Thai hostages is a significant development and brings relief to their families and the entire nation. It is crucial to continue following the situation closely for any further updates on the identities of the released captives as these details are yet to be disclosed. The Thai government and relevant authorities deserve appreciation for their efforts in negotiating the release of the Thai nationals held captive in Gaza.