Six hostages set to return after release by Hamas

SIX Thai hostages kidnapped and held for weeks in the Gaza Strip by Hamas will arrive back in the kingdom, officials said.

Tens of thousands of Thais were working in Israel, mostly in the agricultural sector, when Palestinian militants poured over the border on Oct 7, killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapping roughly 240, according to Israeli authorities.

At least 32 Thais were abducted by Hamas, with Bangkok’s foreign ministry and Thai Muslim groups working to negotiate their release.

Six are expected to land at the capital’s Suvarnabhumi airport following weeks in captivity.

Since their release, the group have been recuperating at a hospital in Israel as authorities made preparations to fly them home.

It follows the return of 17 citizens from Thailand at the end of November, during a temporary truce that saw scores of people released before it expired on Dec 1.

Another nine Thais are still among the hostages taken by Hamas during October’s cross-border raid into Israel, according to Bangkok’s foreign ministry.

Israel has responded to Hamas’ Oct 7 attack with a massive campaign of air, artillery and naval strikes alongside a ground offensive into Gaza, killing more than 15,500 people, mostly civilians, according to Palestinian officials. — AFP

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