ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 148

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Freed Thai hostages set to return home after release by Hamas

Thai nationals walk to a bus as they leave the Shamir Hospital in Ramle, Israel, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, on their way back to Thailand, after being released from Hamas captivity. (AP/Maya Levin)
Thai nationals walk to a bus as they leave the Shamir Hospital in Ramle, Israel, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, on their way back to Thailand, after being released from Hamas captivity. (AP/Maya Levin)

BANGKOK, Thailand — Seventeen Thai hostages kidnapped and held for weeks by Hamas in the Gaza Strip are expected to return home on Thursday to be met by overjoyed relatives at the Bangkok airport.

Tens of thousands of Thais were working in Israel, mostly in the agricultural sector, when Palestinian terrorists poured over the border with Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and abducting about 240 people of all ages.

At least 32 Thais were abducted by Hamas, with Bangkok’s foreign ministry and Thai Muslim groups working to negotiate their release.

Thirty-nine Thais were killed and 19 wounded in the shock onslaught, with the Thai kingdom evacuating more than 8,500 nationals from Israel, according to Bangkok’s foreign ministry.

On Thursday, at around 3:00 pm (0800 GMT), the 17 nationals are expected to land at the capital’s Suvarnabhumi airport following weeks in captivity.

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