Thailand’s Foreign Ministry reports that 12 Thai workers in Israel have been confirmed dead, nine have been injured, and 11 have been abducted by Hamas; 1,099 Thai workers in Israel want to leave, and planes are being prepared to transport them home.
Employers in Israel, according to Kanchana Patarachoke, reported the dead toll. Thai authorities were currently confirming the identity of the Thai victims before sending the heartbreaking news to their families.
“It is difficult to obtain an official confirmation, so the names (of the dead victims) are not being revealed yet,” stated the official.
According to the spokeswoman, nine Thais were hurt and 11 others were kidnapped. The abducted Thais were among 100 or more citizens kidnapped by Hamas. They also accepted Israelis, French, German, and Georgian citizens.
Ms Kanchana stated that 1,099 Thai workers have expressed a desire to return to Thailand. The government was planning evacuation, repatriation, and rescue channels to assist them and those abducted.
The fighting in Israel continued, and the Israeli defence ministry planned to evacuate all people from cities near the Gaza Strip within 24 hours.
There are approximately 30,000 Thais working in Israel, with approximately 5,000 of them near the Gaza Strip.
Although Israel’s Tel Aviv airport remained functioning, many airlines cancelled flights via it due to the conflict, and the frequency was believed to be cut in half.
The Royal Thai Air Force has prepared five C-130 cargo planes and an Airbus 340 for the return of Thai workers from Israel. According to sources, the government would also provide for chartered flights if needed.
Hamas kidnaps scores of civilians
On Saturday, Hamas’ Operation Al-Aqsa Flood appeared to catch Israel unaware unprepared. In addition to launching rockets, the Palestinian movement dispatched fighters from Gaza into southern Israel, where they targeted military targets, briefly took control of various Israeli communities, and kidnapped scores of civilians and soldiers.
Some have labelled Hamas’ attack a “colossal failure” of Israel’s military and intelligence apparatus. Others, notably diplomats and political officials from the West and beyond, have termed it a “unprovoked” “terrorist” attack while maintaining on Israel’s “right to defend itself.”
However, nothing about this operation is unexpected or unsolicited. It is also not the product of flaws in Israeli security measures. It is a predictable response from the Palestinian people, who have been subjected to Israeli settler colonial oppression and occupation for decades.
International law prevents states from engaging in “any military occupation, however brief.” Resolution 37/43 of the United Nations General Assembly further states that people fighting for independence and liberation from colonial control have the right to use “all available means, including armed struggle.” In other words, Operation Al-Aqsa Flood is a component of the violent Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation and oppression.
It is also unsurprising that Palestinian armed factions use asymmetric tactics and stealth. This is because they are up against one of the world’s most sophisticated and well-funded armed armies.
It’s also not surprising that the operation began in Gaza. According to the late Palestinian-American philosopher Edward Said, Gaza is the “essential core” of the Palestinian cause. It is a poor, congested area populated primarily by Palestinian refugees who were driven from their homes during the 1948 Nakba. It previously gave birth to the first Intifada and has hosted the majority of Palestinian armed resistance for decades.
Hamas was able to seize control
Gaza has also been under blockade for 16 years, which has taken a tremendous toll on its people but has not destroyed their determination to resist. The blockade was established after Hamas won the Palestinian Legislative Council elections in 2006, but its Palestinian competitor, Fatah, collaborated with Israel and its supporters to prevent it from assuming control.
After several months of battle, Hamas was able to seize complete control of Gaza in June 2007, prompting Israel and its allies to collectively punish the Palestinians who lived there.
Residents of Gaza have had no freedom of movement for more than 16 years. They can leave through Israeli-controlled checkpoints if they have an Israeli work permit or, in exceptional situations, if Israel has granted them special permission to undergo life-saving medical treatment in the occupied West Bank.
To go to other parts of the world, they must first secure a valid visa, which is difficult for stateless persons to obtain, and then navigate the Egyptian authorities’ arbitrary choices to close the Rafah border crossing and deny Palestinians admission.
The embargo has practically brought Gaza’s economy to a halt. Today, about half of the population is unemployed. Among the young, the jobless rate exceeds 60%.
The siege has also reduced the food supplies. Between 2007 and 2010, Israeli officials kept a calorie count of Palestinians’ nutritional needs in order to avoid malnutrition while restricting food availability in Gaza.