Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin announced on Wednesday that the UN Secretary-General had offered his condolences in response to the deaths of Thai citizens in Israel, after a report by the Israeli government of another Thai fatality, which brings the death toll to 30.
Israel confirmed this information to the Thai embassy in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, although the exact time of the most recent casualty remains undetermined. The number of those wounded remains at 16, while reports suggest that Hamas has captured 18 individuals.
Regarding the repatriation of Thai workers from Israel, Srettha said that the government can currently bring back around 400 Thais daily and plans to increase this number to 600 in the near future.
Prime Minister Srettha conveyed this information to journalists in Beijing on Wednesday morning. His meeting with the UN Secretary-General took place on the sidelines of the 3rd Belt and Road Initiative forum.
Srettha told the UN leader that, despite Thailand’s non-involvement in the Palestinian conflicts, it has endured the second-highest number of deaths, following the United States.
The Prime Minister shared that the UN Secretary-General reacted with dismay to the Thai fatalities and extended his heartfelt sympathies.
According to Srettha, the UN leader is planning an imminent trip to Egypt and a visit to the vicinity of the Gaza Strip, advocating for a cessation of hostilities as soon as possible.
He emphasized that the Thai government remains focused on the safety of its citizens in Israel.
Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara is working to secure permission to use Middle Eastern ports for the sea repatriation of Thai nationals, Srettha added.
The Prime Minister noted that while the US has managed to evacuate 1,500 to 2,000 of its nationals via sea to Cyprus, Israeli ports continue to be closed.
Moreover, he highlighted that numerous Thais are still trapped in Israel’s dangerous areas, with several unable to reach the airport for their departure flights despite having registered with the Thai embassy for repatriation.
The Supreme Commander of the Thai Armed Forces is negotiating with the Israel Defence Forces to expedite the evacuation of Thais from these perilous zones, he stated.
Srettha also urged those remaining in Israel to quickly decide whether they prefer to stay, acknowledging the risks, or return to Thailand.
“The risk is on you. The government has a duty to repatriate people quickly and safely once you decide to return home,” Srettha stated.