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Thailand to Send Farm Workers to Israel for First Time Since Hamas Attacks

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BANGKOK – Thailand is set to resume sending agricultural workers to Israel this week, marking the end of an eight-month suspension following a deadly conflict last October.

The Thai labor ministry announced plans to dispatch more than 10,000 workers to Israel by the year’s end, aiming to restore a vital labor force in the country’s agriculture sector.

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Before the conflict erupted, approximately 30,000 Thai laborers formed one of Israel’s largest migrant worker communities, primarily employed in agriculture. The escalation last October saw 39 Thais lose their lives, with 32 others taken hostage by Palestinian Hamas militants.

“The government requested Israeli authorities to prioritize the safety of Thai workers,” stated the labor ministry in a released statement.

Family members of those abducted by Hamas have endured an agonizing wait for news, with six individuals still unaccounted for.

The first group of approximately 100 workers is scheduled to depart from Bangkok on Tuesday, with subsequent deployments planned for early July. Many Thais, particularly from rural northeastern regions, are attracted by higher wages and the opportunity to alleviate significant debts, a pervasive issue in Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy.

Thailand’s decision to resume labor exports underscores confidence in Israel’s security assurances despite lingering concerns over safety. Thai workers play a crucial role in Israel’s agricultural production, with their expertise and diligence valued by local farmers.

“The return of Thai workers is a positive step towards normalizing our agricultural operations,” commented an Israeli agricultural official, emphasizing the importance of mutual cooperation.

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Despite the tragic events last year, both governments have reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing safety protocols and ensuring robust protections for all migrant laborers. Authorities on both sides are working closely to mitigate risks and provide comprehensive support to returning workers.

The resumption of Thai labor exports marks a crucial milestone in bilateral relations, highlighting resilience and cooperation in the face of adversity. As Thailand moves forward with its deployment plans, families of the victims and the entire nation remain hopeful for a secure and prosperous future for all workers abroad.

 

This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

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