“BARRAGE OF GUNFIRE”
Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel on Oct 7, killing more than 1,400 people and taking over 200 hostages. Israel responded by pounding Gaza with air strikes, killing thousands.
Some Thai workers were working on Israeli farms near the Gaza border when the Oct 7 attack happened. Thai labourer Kamlue was on his way to harvest courgettes on a farm when the truck he was riding on came under heavy fire.
“They launched a relentless barrage of gunfire from every direction,” he said, asking not to use his full name as he recounted his escape from the Hamas attack.
The driver of the truck managed to steer it to a safe position, but Kamlue was among several workers who were wounded.
“I was shot in my right leg, and I’m still recovering from the injury,” said the 41-year-old, who returned to Thailand on a repatriation flight organised by the Thai government.
The killing of migrant workers has caused alarm among the roughly 110,000 foreign labourers who currently live legally in the country, prompting thousands to line up to leave.
But Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin on Thursday said he was concerned that Thai workers were planning to stay in Israel for higher pay, despite escalating conflict.
“We have to improve the state of our economy here … so Thais don’t have to risk their lives,” Srettha said on Thursday in a response to a question in parliament, adding 4,000 Thais had been repatriated so far but others were changing their minds to stay.
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