Israel working with Thailand, Philippines to reunite freed foreign nationals with families

The 11 foreign nationals — 10 from Thailand and 1 from the Philippines — who were freed as hostages by Hamas in Gaza today are expected to remain in the hospital overnight in Israel as medical authorities complete their health examinations, the Foreign Ministry says.

The ministry says workers are “in regular contact with the embassies of Thailand and the Philippines,” following the release of the hostages, and notice was given to their families.

The ministry says the foreign nationals “are expected to return to their families after almost 50 days in Hamas captivity.”

Thai Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara wrote online that he was “overjoyed.”

Thailand had secured an agreement via Iran, Hamas’s backers, for the release of their citizens.

Thais were the biggest single group of foreigners taken hostage. Thai and Filipino nationals often travel to Israel to work as farmhands, caregivers or other types of skilled laborer, at wages considerably higher than those at they can earn at home.

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