President Isaac Herzog today, Thursday, met with the ambassadors to Israel from Thailand, Philippines, Tanzania, and Nepal, whose citizens were killed and taken hostage alongside Israelis in the barbaric terror attack by Hamas on October 7.
Among those killed and captured, were students studying agriculture, caregivers, and farm workers. The President stressed the important contribution of the foreign nationals to Israeli society and industry, and that he shared in their grief and concern. He noted that this was testament to the fact that Hamas’ atrocities did not differentiate between the faith, ethnicity, or beliefs of their victims.
President Herzog said, “We are here because of the tragedy that has befallen the people of Israel, and many people from your nations. We know that many of your citizens in Israel were murdered, killed, tortured, wounded, and unfortunately, taken hostage.
Ambassador of Thailand, Pannabha Chandraramya, thanked the President and said, “It’s a sad occasion as you mentioned, for us, the Thai people, we are suffering a lot, I think we are the second group after Israel who suffer with this loss. So far, we have confirmed that 23 Thai people were murdered, there are still some to be identified. As for those murdered, they were identified by the DNA test. And as of now we have four still in the hospital, one is still unconscious from the very first day, and we got confirmation of 29 that are held hostage.”
She added, “The news about Israel is everyday in the Thai media, and we are concerned about the well being of the Thai people who are still living and working here in Israel, and also a we have grave concern for those who have been abducted. We want to know where about they are and how could we help them.”
Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines, Pedro R. Laylo, Jr. said, “Because of the attack four Philippine citizens were murdered. They were caregivers. In one one account, she was protecting her ward, and they poured gasoline over them.”
President Herzog responded, “Please convey to the President of the Philippines and the entire nation, our heartfelt sorrow and pain. I cannot describe how the caregivers are so important to our society.”
Ambassador of Nepal, Kanta Rizal, said, “Ten Nepali students, young students who come here every year for 11 months for the MASHAV program were murdered, one is missing and we have four injured.” She explained that five of the victims’ remains were only identified from DNA because they were burned.
Ambassador to United Republic of Tanzania, Alex Gabriel Kallua, said, “Tanzania has more than 262 students doing intense agriculture studies. And we have two missing. They were working in the south near the Gaza border. From the information we have, nobody’s recovered them, and we think that they are among the abductees in Gaza.”
President Herzog concluded, “I want to thank you Ambassadors. Your citizens are part and parcel of the people of Israel in facing the atrocities of the worst kind of 7th October, witnessing the horrors and showing immense bravery, solidarity, and strength. Many have lost their lives in tragic circumstances because they were attacked, because Hamas does not differentiate between any religion, any belief, any country, any state. Thirty-six countries are represented in this entire tragedy. But your countries are represented the most in terms of the fact that so many citizens of yours have faced this horrendous atrocity. We know how painful this is because we all were in agony, and your nations are in agony, and we will work tirelessly to bring everybody back home. Your citizens have been ruthlessly abducted and taken to Gaza as innocent people who came to study and work in our country and do good. The Israeli people love and appreciate your people.”