Bangkok, Nov 19 (EFE).- Thailand on Sunday demanded the immediate release of hostages kidnapped by Hamas and held in Gaza, including 25 Thais, and asked that they be provided with humanitarian assistance.
People take part in the religious ceremony for Thai workers killed by Hamas in Israel, after the bodies were returned to Thailand, at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Samut Prakan province, Thailand, 01 November 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/NARONG SANGNAK
“Thailand expresses deepest concern at the escalation of violence and worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza that gravely affect the civilian population,” the Thai Foreign Ministry said in a statement, which also called for the establishment of a humanitarian corridor.
The ministry urged the “immediate and unconditional release of all civilian hostages, including Thai nationals, demanding their safety and humane treatment, as well as ensuring immediate humanitarian access.”
Twenty-five Thais are among the more than 240 people kidnapped by Hamas during its assault on southern Israel on Oct. 7, which left some 1,200 dead, including 39 Thais.
Since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas, Thailand has sought various ways to achieve the release of the captives, including a trip led by the head of Thai diplomacy to Egypt and Qatar.
According to The Washington Post, Israel and Hamas have reached a tentative agreement to release dozens of hostages in exchange for a five-day pause in the bombing of Gaza.
The agreement, mediated by Qatar, could be launched in the coming days, allowing the departure of children and women kidnapped by the Islamist group and marking the first sustained pause in the Israeli offensive in the enclave since the start of the war.
In addition, it would facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid through the Rafah crossing, on the Egypt border.
Some 30,000 Thais were in Israel, including 5,000 employees near Gaza, at the time of the Hamas assault.
Since then, the Israeli military has besieged and bombarded the Gaza Strip by land, sea and air, killing more than 11,300 and leaving thousands internally displaced. EFE