Two Thai women have been widely praised on social media for rescuing 32 Thai workers, some of whom were injured, from a “red zone” in Israel. The workers had been trapped since the Hamas attacks on Israel on Saturday, October 7.
Footage of Wipawadee Vannachai and Napaporn Sohasun has gone viral on social media, showing the women driving around Thai labour camps in the conflict zone, rescuing fellow citizens at risk.
To date, 29 Thai nationals have died in the area, with another 17 being held hostage by Hamas. Thousands of Thais are in shelters, trying to coordinate their repatriation with the Thai embassy in Tel Aviv.
According to a Bangkok Post report, a live stream shared by Wipawadee shows both women driving through military checkpoints in Israel, requesting permission to enter red-zone areas from where Thai workers have contacted them asking for help.
Wipawadee says many Thai workers in these areas have been in touch to say that despite being injured, their employers are forcing them back to work. Both women have so far managed to take a number of injured workers to hospital and then to a shelter.
“It was not easy entering unsafe zones to pick up Thai workers. There were certain areas where soldiers did not allow us to enter, but we insisted we must help get the Thai people out. The soldiers eventually helped protect us, allowing for the successful rescue of Thai workers.”
It’s understood many of the workers have lost their identification documents and the women are helping them apply for temporary passports so they can return to Thailand.
Yesterday, Wipawadee herself returned to Thailand to attend her mother’s funeral in the north-eastern province of Nong Bua Lamphu. Speaking to reporters on her arrival at Khon Kaen airport, she explained that she speaks Hebrew and her ex-husband was an Israeli lawyer who spent 15 years representing Thai workers.
Napaporn remains in Israel, where she continues to help Thai workers, and Wipawadee says she will return to Israel in December.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post