Families of kidnapped Thai workers wait for good news

The families of Thai laborers held hostage by Hamas speak about their fears for their safety.

“When I heard that he was among the 11 hostages taken by Hamas my heart dropped,” Kanyarat Suriyasri, whose husband Owat Suriyasri is among those taken, tells AFP. “I am waiting to hear some good news.”

Owat, 40, from Si Saket province in eastern Thailand, is a “very friendly, caring and happy man,” she says.

He moved to Israel in 2021 for improved wages, hoping to build a better house for his wife and two children.

“We have a lot of debts, and working abroad pays better than in Thailand,” she says.

She tells AFP that if she could see her husband she would tell him: “I’ve missed you, I won’t let you anywhere far away again.

“I would hug him.”

Wannida Ma-asa’s husband Anucha Angkaew, an avocado farm worker, was another of those taken hostage.

“I’m devastated. I spoke with him the day when he was kidnapped. I had a video call with him before it happened and we chatted normally,” she tells AFP.

But despite Hamas’s threat to kill its captives, Wannida says she was holding out for the safe return of her husband, who is 28.

“I really hope he survives… I have a 100 percent hope. I am patiently watching the news, waiting to hear some good news,” she says.

Anucha, who has a daughter, moved to Israel in March 2022 from his home region of Udon Thani, an agricultural area in northeast Thailand.

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