In a significant diplomatic victory, Thailand has successfully negotiated the release of 23 of their citizens held hostage by Hamas in Gaza, with two of those recently released arriving at an Israeli hospital. This operation is part of a wider international effort involving 30 countries to secure the release of their citizens, with Thailand's efforts standing out for their effectiveness and efficiency.
Successful Ceasefire Negotiations
These releases come as part of a six-day ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas, which allowed for the release of the sixth batch of hostages. This exchange involved 16 people in return for 30 Palestinian prisoners and the provision of humanitarian aid to Gaza. Amidst pressures to extend the ceasefire, U.S. Secretary of State Blinken visited Tel Aviv to discuss the possibility of a longer truce and increased aid to Gaza. Israel threatened to strike Gaza if at least 10 hostages were not released.
Hostages Released Through Individual Negotiations
During this period of ceasefire, 60 Israeli hostages were set free. In addition, through individual negotiations, 21 hostages, including Thais, Filipinos, and Russians, were released. Despite these successes, approximately 160 hostages remain in Gaza.
Thailand's Diplomatic Success
Thai officials made significant efforts through secret diplomatic channels to rescue their citizens, managing to secure the release of 19 Thai citizens, more than any other country involved in the crisis. Despite the complex political situation in the Middle East, Thailand's diplomatic capabilities shone through, demonstrating their commitment to the safety of their citizens abroad.