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Thailand Resumes Sending Farm Workers to Israel

Thai Labor Ministry Aims to Have Over 10,000 Citizens Employed in Israel by Year-End.

Thailand will resume sending agricultural workers to Israel this week after an eight-month hiatus, the Thai labor ministry announced on Monday. The ministry has set a target of having more than 10,000 of its citizens working in Israel by the end of the year.

Before the conflict broke out last October, approximately 30,000 Thai laborers were employed in Israel’s agriculture sector, making them one of the largest groups of migrant workers in the country. The violence on October 7, when Hamas gunmen attacked Israel, resulted in 39 Thai workers being killed and another 32 taken hostage, according to the Thai government. Six of these individuals are still believed to be in captivity.

In response to these incidents, the Thai labor ministry has sought assurances from the Israeli government regarding the safety of their workers. "The government asked for the cooperation of the Israeli government to help emphasize to employers to take care of the safety of Thai workers," the labor ministry stated.

The first batch of around 100 workers is set to depart from Bangkok on Tuesday, with another group following in early July. Many Thai workers, especially from the rural northeast, are drawn to employment opportunities in Israel due to higher wages and the chance to alleviate significant personal debt, a widespread issue in Thailand's economy.

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