On Wednesday, Thai Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara expressed gratitude for the liberation of two additional Thai hostages previously held in Gaza, marking the most recent individuals to regain freedom within the context of a temporary ceasefire.
“Happy to personally welcome 2 additional Thai hostages just released and arrived at the hospital in Tel Aviv,” Parnpree, who is also deputy prime minister, posted on social media platform X.
“A totally warm feeling to see how the former 17 were lining up to welcome and give moral support to the two newcomers,” he said.
Nineteen Thai hostages have so far been released, while the foreign ministry says 13 more remain in captivity. There were 39 Thai nationals killed in the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas.
A Thai Muslim group that spoke directly with Hamas said on Monday its efforts were key to ensuring Thai hostages were among the first to be released. A Thai foreign ministry spokesperson said multiple actors were consulted.
Before the Israel-Hamas war, about 30,000 Thai laborers worked in Israel’s agriculture sector, comprising one of the largest migrant worker groups in the country.
Nearly 9,000 have been repatriated, according to the government.
The Thai citizens released are slated to return home this week as Parnpree visits Israel.