Thailand says 12 nationals killed in Israel, South Korea asks citizens to return

The Thailand government said that 12 of its nationals died in Saturday’s attack by Hamas militants on Israel from the Gaza Strip, which has left more than 1,100 dead in both territories.
The Thai foreign minister’s spokesperson, Kanchana Patarachoke, said in a press conference on Monday that the Thai Embassy in Tel Aviv had received reports of the 12 deaths from companies that employ Thai nationals in Israel. In addition to the fatalities, eight other Thais were injured and 11 were abducted by Hamas guerrillas, who operate in Gaza. According to Thai authorities, some 30,000 Thais reside in Israel, around 5,000 of them near the Gaza Strip, where they mostly work in the agricultural sector. Thailand Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said on Sunday that an Air Force plane with a capacity of 423 people was prepared to fly to Israel in the event of an evacuation of its citizens.
Cambodia on Sunday also confirmed the death of a student in Israel, while the Philippines said that it was trying to verify the reported kidnapping of one of its 25,000 citizens in the country. The consul of the Philippine Embassy in Israel said that eight Filipinos, who were working near Gaza when the assault began, were rescued by the Israeli military, local news portal Inquirer reported. Nepal’s embassy in Tel Aviv also announced the death of least ten Nepalese students in the Hamas attacks in Israel. Another student is missing and four have sustained injuries, the embassy added.

Nepali ambassador in Israel, Kanta Rizal, told EFE that a search was underway for the missing student. “We are coordinating with the foreign ministry in Nepal to repatriate the bodies,” she added. She said that the Nepali government had decided to make arrangements to evacuate its citizens wanting to leave Israel. Meanwhile, South Korea has advised its citizens to leave Israel.

In a special warning on Sunday, the South Korean foreign ministry discouraged citizens from traveling to Israel and asked those who were already in the country to leave immediately. South Korea usually issues this kind of warning if there are urgent security risks for South Korean travelers or overseas residents and it can remain active for up to 90 days. The South Korean authorities, however, did not report any casualties or injury to any of its citizens in Israel, where some 570 South Koreans reside and another 360 South Koreans are traveling. Flag carrier Korean Air canceled its flight scheduled for Monday between Seoul and Tel Aviv, one of its three weekly flights between the two capitals. A spokesperson for the transport ministry told local new agency Yonhap hat it would cooperate with the foreign ministry to facilitate the return of South Koreans from Israel. Hamas’ attacks have left more than 700 dead in Israel, which has responded with massive air strikes on the Gaza Strip that have claimed 436 lives so far. EFE nc-sp-asb-ahg/am/pd

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