First 100 Thai Workers Leave for Israel Since October 7th Attack

The first group of Thai workers has left for Israel since the Hamas attack in October, departing from Suvarnabhumi Airport on Tuesday. The Ministry of Labour plans to send up to 10,000 workers there this year.

Labour Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn mentioned that 100 workers flew out on Tuesday, and an additional 540 will leave from Wednesday until July 3.

To ensure they are well-prepared, all workers underwent training courses to understand their employment contracts, working conditions, local customs and cultures, and their rights to legal protection.

They have been briefed on how to seek assistance during emergencies or problems and on the appropriate responses to wartime emergency procedures.

Before the Hamas attack on October 7 last year, around 30,000 Thai nationals were employed in Israel, mostly in the agriculture and construction sectors.

In the initial stages of the conflict, nearly 9,000 were brought back, while others chose to stay in regions deemed safe from the conflict.

Thailand is on track to meet its goal of dispatching 10,000 workers to Israel by the end of this year, according to Mr. Phiphat.

Most of these workers come from Udon Thani, Chiang Rai, Nakhon Phanom, Buri Ram, and Nakhon Ratchasima, he noted.

Somchai Morakotsriwan, the director-general of the Department of Employment, stated that Thailand officially sent 67,208 workers abroad in the fiscal year 2022-2023, with Israel being among the top five destinations.

The majority of these workers sought employment in agriculture, with others entering the hospitality and food services sectors. Their average monthly income ranges from 50,000 to 55,000 baht.

“The government prioritizes the safety of our workers,” said Mr. Somchai.

“During his visit to Israel at the end of May, Mr. Phiphat asked the Israeli government to ensure their safety by allowing them to work only in safe zones and instructing employers to provide the workers with shelters that are safe and strong.”

The department has been allocated a quota of 5,000 agricultural workers to be sent to Israel in the latter half of the year. As of June 13, over 30,000 workers had applied for these positions.

During his recent visit to Israel, Mr. Phiphat requested an increase in the annual quota for farm workers from 6,000 to 20,000 and proposed allowing up to 25,000 Thai construction workers to be employed in the country.