Jerusalem – More than half the estimated 220 hostages held by Palestinian group Hamas have foreign passports from 25 different countries, including 54 Thai nationals, the Israeli government said on Wednesday (Oct. 25), according to a Reuters report published by Yahoo!News
In providing updated figures, the government also said 328 people from 40 countries were confirmed as dead or missing after the surprise Oct. 7 attack by Hamas fighters on southern Israel. In all, an estimated 1,400 people were killed in the assault.
Israel said 138 of the hostages had foreign passports, including 15 Argentinians, 12 Germans, 12 Americans, six French and six Russians.
Many were believed to have had dual Israeli nationality, however some, like the Thais and five Nepalese hostages, almost certainly did not. There was also one Chinese hostage, one Sri Lankan, two from Tanzania and two from the Philippines.
Thais also made up the largest single group of foreign dead and missing, with 24 confirmed killed and 21 unaccounted for.
Thailand is one of the largest sources of migrant workers in Israel, with around 30,000 working in the agriculture sector, according to government data.
Among other foreign nations that suffered heavy losses were the United States, with 34 killed and five missing, Ukraine, with 25 killed and two missing, France, with 23 killed and one missing, and Russia with 23 killed and four missing.
Five Chinese citizens were killed and one was missing, while Nepal had five killed and five missing.
Top: Smoke is rising after an Israeli strike on Gaza seen from a viewpoint in Southern Israel on Oct. 24, 2023. Photo: Reuters/Violeta Santos Moura and published by CNA
Front Page: Israeli soldiers drive in a tank by Israel’s border with Gaza in southern Israel on Oct. 10, 2023. Photo: Reuters/Ronen Zvulun and published by CNA
(Reporting by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Rod Nickel)
Also read: Another Thai worker dead in Israel-Hamas war