Kiattisak Patee, 35, a Thai national working on a chicken farm at Kibbutz Re’im, was murdered by Hamas terrorists on October 7.
He is survived by his father, Khamsee, mother, Promma, and at least one sister, Kanjana.
His Facebook page is peppered with videos of him working on the farm, driving a tractor, and making jokes with his fellow Thai workers. His final post, on October 7 at 4:33 a.m. — just two hours before the Hamas onslaught began — showed him watching a soccer game and eating with a group of other farmhands.
Following the October 7 assault, his family was desperate for any news about him for weeks, and for a while believed he was being held hostage in Gaza. But after about a month, his body was located and his family was informed of his death.
His body was sent back to Thailand for burial in early November, returning to the northeastern city of Udo Thani from where he hailed.
His sister told The Guardian that after the attack, they called and called his phone but nobody ever answered: “It’s so hard for us not to know – did he get captured, did he run away, what happened to him?”
Kiattisak’s family told The New York Times that he had signed a five-year contract to work in Israel, and had been there already for about four-and-a-half years. They said he went to make money to send back to his family.
On November 1, just a few days before his death was confirmed, the newspaper interviewed his father and uncle “in the newly finished house his son financed with earnings from a chicken farm in Israel. A newly purchased car and tractor waited outside, too.”
His mother Promma told NBC News that “he built everything, and he did not even get to touch them.”
Kiattisak’s family told the news outlet that once his contract was set to expire next year, he was planning to come home and take over work on the family’s rice farm, so his parents could retire.
“I’m very sad, so sad that I don’t want to do anything,” said his father, Khamsee.
He said he was “so proud” of his son, and had been excited for him to return home. “But he’s no longer here,” he said. “So I will just do what I can.”