Thailand resumes sending farm workers to Israel

The Thai government has announced it is sending agricultural workers to Israel for the first time since the Israel-Hamas conflict began last October.

Thais comprised one of the largest migrant worker groups in Israel before the conflict.

Around 100 workers are flying out from an international airport near Bangkok on Tuesday, with other groups set to follow on Wednesday and in early July.

Around 30,000 Thais had been working in Israel before the conflict.

The Thai government has confirmed at least 39 of its citizens died and six are believed to remain in captivity as a result of Hamas's surprise attack on October 7th.

Since then, about 9,000 Thai workers have been repatriated.

The move comes as many Thai workers, especially from the rural north and northeast region, are seeking employment opportunities in Israel.

Thai labor ministry officials say the country aims to have more than 10,000 citizens working in Israel by the end of the year. They will be working in farms for 5 years.

A man leaving Thailand says he's half scared-half brave, but added he wants to earn a better income and build a better future.

Another laborer said he has a lot of debt issues, so he has to go to Israel to earn money because the amount he can make there is higher than in Thailand.

He added he will miss his family but it's necessary for him to go.

Upon the resumption, the Thai labor ministry is emphasizing the importance of worker safety. Officials say Thai citizens will be working only in green areas.