300 Thais flee farms near Gaza Strip

About 300 Thai workers have requested they be moved away from farms near the Gaza Strip, where the battle continues between Israeli troops and Palestinian fighters.

Around 4,000 Thais work on farms in Israel adjacent to the Gaza Strip. A worker from Nan province was killed by a mortar shell in the area on Wednesday as the violence again spilled over into the area.

Labour permanent secretary Jirasak Sukontachart said  about 300 Thai workers had already requested they be moved to  safer areas.

He said Thai authorities were open to such requests around the clock, and Israeli authorities would  help   transport them away.

Mr Jirasuk said he asked the Israel embassy in Thailand if it was true that Narakorn Kittiyangkul was killed by the exploding mortar shell after his employer ordered staff to go back work at a tomato farm despite a warning that people in the area should take cover, as was reported.

Narakorn, 36, from Nan province, died from his wounds shortly after being airlifted to hospital.

Mr Jirasuk said the Israeli government had said it would compensate his family.

Wanpen Ya-ud, an elder sister of  Narakorn, said on Friday that the Department of Consular Affairs informed her Narakorn's body would  arrive back at Suvarnabhumi airport on July 28.

The time and flight had not yet been confirmed. A van would be there to take his body to his home in Nan province, where a Hmong funeral was planned.

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