Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisi said Friday that 12 Thai workers had been released from captivity in Gaza.
The announcement was made on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, after reports surfaced of their possible release.
“The Department of Security and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have confirmed that 12 Thai hostages have already been released.
“Embassy officials are on their way to pick them up in an hour. They should have their names and contact details. Please stay tuned,” the message read.
The workers were released the same day as the hostage exchange agreement which took effect Friday morning.
This includes the release by Hamas of 50 Israeli prisoners held in Gaza in exchange for 150 Palestinian women and children imprisoned by Israel, as well as a pause in the bombing of Gaza.
According to the Thai government, around 23 Thai nationals were taken to Gaza on October 7 by Hamas-led fighters, and 39 Thais were killed. Bangkok has since tried to repatriate its nationals.
According to an anonymous Egyptian source cited Thursday by the London-based news site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, Hamas is also preparing to release the remaining Thai hostages following Iranian mediation between Hamas and Bangkok.
Last week, a member of Thailand’s negotiating team for the release of the hostages said his government had received assurances from Hamas that 25 of its nationals held hostage were “safe” and could be released in the near future. days.
The truce comes into effect
Thousands of Thai nationals were working in Israel when Palestinian fighters led by Hamas launched an attack on Israel on October 7. Many worked in agriculture near the border with Gaza.
Hamas has previously reiterated that the group is open to negotiations to release even more civilian prisoners currently held in Gaza, including men. However, he said releasing detained Israeli soldiers would be more costly.
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The four-day truce agreement has already resulted in the first group of Israelis detained in Gaza being handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross, according to Israeli media.
The group will be transported by ambulances via the Rafah terminal.
Meanwhile, Palestinian families await the release of Palestinian women and children from an Israeli prison in the occupied West Bank, as part of the prisoner exchange deal with Israel.
A total of 39 Palestinians are expected to be released from Ofer prison near Ramallah.
The truce marks the first pause in more than six weeks of war in Gaza and offers relief both to the territory’s 2.3 million Palestinians who have endured relentless Israeli bombardment, as well as to Israeli families who fear for their fate. of their loved ones captured in Israel. October 7.
The agreement, reached after long and complex negotiations mediated by Qatar, the United States and Egypt, comes as the Israeli offensive in Gaza has killed more than 14,000 people, more than a third of them were children.
Israel claims to have killed thousands of Hamas fighters without presenting evidence and has confirmed the deaths of at least 70 of its soldiers.