6 June 2024

Nearly two dozen Thai nationals believed held by Hamas in Gaza may be released on the sidelines of a hostage swap deal taking place between Israel and the terror group, according to Times of Iran online.

Bangkok has been holding separate talks to repatriate some of its nationals believed kidnapped by Hamas during the terror group’s deadly rampage through southern Israel on October 7, in which some 1,200 people, including a number of Thai workers, were killed and some 240 people abducted.

On Friday, Hamas is set to release 13 women and children in exchange for Palestinians being held in Israeli prison, part of a deal that will halt intense fighting for several days and is expected to see 50 hostages and 150 Palestinian prisoners released.

According to an unnamed Egyptian source quoted in London-based pan-Arab news site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, Thursday, Hamas is also set to release 23 Thai nationals following Iranian mediation between the Palestinian terror group and Bangkok.

Iran has provided Bangkok with details on the condition of the Thai abductees set to be released. Bangkok says it believes 26 of its citizens were abducted on October 7.

Times of Iran said the deal is separate from the Qatar-mediated temporary truce between Israel and Hamas set to go into effect Friday at 7 a.m.

On Wednesday, Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said he was hopeful a pause in the fighting would allow the Thai hostages to leave Gaza safely.

Last week, a member of the Thai hostage release negotiating team said that his government had been given assurances by Hamas that 25 of its nationals held hostage by the Palestinian terror group were “safe,” and could be released in the coming days.