Over 5,000 Thais request repatriation from Israel amid conflict escalation

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The Royal Thai Embassy in Tel Aviv is reportedly coordinating with commercial airlines to repatriate Thai nationals from Israel. (AP pic)

BANGKOK: More than 5,000 Thai citizens have requested to be repatriated as the Palestine-Israel conflict escalates.

Foreign ministry spokesman Kanchana Patarachoke said 5,174 Thais had registered for voluntary repatriation while 64 had indicated their intent to remain in Israel.

“The ambassador of Thailand to Israel (Pannabha Chandraramya) is in touch with the ministry of foreign affairs (MFA) of Israel to expedite the evacuation of Thai nationals from high-risk areas to safe zones.”

“Hundreds of civilians, including Thai nationals, have already been evacuated to safe zones. They will reside in temporary shelters and work at agricultural plantations as an alternative employment for the time being,” she said at a press conference today.

There are about 30,000 Thais in Israel, mostly working in the agriculture sector.

Kanchana said the Royal Thai Embassy (RTE) in Tel Aviv has reported further attacks and aerial bombardments since yesterday afternoon with the death toll and number of injuries increasing on both sides.

She said three more Thai citizens have been taken hostage, bringing the total number to 14.

Kanchana said the number of those injured has increased to 13.

She said the RTE in Tel Aviv continues to coordinate with commercial airlines to repatriate Thai nationals from Israel.

Kanchana said the first repatriation of 15 Thai nationals is expected to arrive at Thailand’s Suvarnabhumi Airport at 10.35am local time tomorrow.

She said the evacuation of more than 120 Thai nationals via the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) aircraft on Sunday is scheduled to arrive at Don Mueang Airport at 4.40am local time on Monday.

“The Rapid Response Centre’s meeting this afternoon also discussed the timeline for further evacuations via RTAF aircraft once more Thai nationals have been relocated and assembled in safe zones,” she said.

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