Israel is doing everything in its power to help Thais and other nationalities caught up in the attack by Hamas militants, according to the Israeli ambassador to Thailand.
Ambassador Orna Sagiv spoke to Thai PBS World to say her government is doing everything it can to help Thai workers detained by Hamas.
Israel has responded ferociously to Saturday’s surprise attack, with ongoing bombardments of the Gaza Strip. Sagiv says the Israeli authorities are providing medical treatment to Thai nationals and others caught up in the fighting.
The latest figures from the Thai Foreign Ministry confirm that 12 Thai people have died and another 11 are being held captive by Hamas. According to Hamas, it is currently holding over 130 hostages.
Sagiv says Israeli officials don’t have much information on the hostages but the country is doing everything it can to free them.
“What I can say is that we treat all the foreigners who got hurt or are being kept by Hamas like we treat the Israelis. We love our Thai friends, the workers. We appreciate them very, very much.”
She adds that current responsibility for their welfare lies with Hamas.
“They should be held responsible and then they should supply answers to not only Israel but to the international community.”
There are thought to be around 30,000 Thai nationals working in Israel, with 5,000 located in and around the Gaza Strip, scene of the worst fighting since Saturday. The ambassador says Israel is ready to help foreign governments in organising the evacuation of citizens.
She says that while Israel is accustomed to terrorism, Saturday’s attack was unprecedented. According to the ambassador, Hamas militants spared nobody, slaughtering the elderly and babies.
She says that at this moment in time, negotiations with the organisation would be pointless.
“What are we going to negotiate with the Hamas? They are digging a deep a hole to try to bury all of us. You don’t negotiate with terrorist organisations.”
SOURCE: Thai PBS World