Thailand negotiating with Hamas via Iran for release of its hostages

Hamas kidnapped 23 Thais; Bangkok says it has pictures of all them and that they are being “treated well” by the terror organization.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Thailand has set up an independent channel of communication through Iran to negotiate with Hamas for the release of 23 citizens who were kidnapped by the terrorists from the fields in which they were working when they invaded Gaza envelope communities a little over a month ago, setting off the ongoing war.

Senior officials, including Thailand’s deputy prime minister have recently flown to Tehran to meet with the mullahs.

Channel 12 reported Tuesday that the officials met with both Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and senior Hamas members.

Ynet reported that it was the acting “foreign minister” of Hamas who met with the Thais, Musa Abu Marzouk, and that the Thais were told that the terrorists were willing to release their countrymen “at the right time.”

If and when they are freed, they would reportedly be taken through the Rafah crossing to Egypt and then flown to Tehran to show who were responsible for the release, before being allowed to go home.

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In what could have been a symbolic sweetener to get the negotiations started, Thailand had donated a few days before the meetings $85,000 to the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) that provides education and food to Palestinian refugees and their descendants in Arab countries, the Palestinian Authority and the Gaza Strip.

Iran offered to assist in the release of hostages soon after they were taken, while denying Israeli claims that it was the puppet master responsible for the invasion.

Some Hamas officials have admitted that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps helped plan the mass attack, while others said the organization did everything on its own, although acknowledging Iran’s massive financing and weapons provision to the group.

Reports have also surfaced that Tehran had ordered that the surprise assault be pushed off from Passover in April specifically to the symbolic date of October 7, a day after the fiftieth anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, which was also a surprise attack on the Jewish state, by Syria and Egypt.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said on Monday that his government has received photographic proof that all the Thai hostages were alive and that “they are in good condition and will return home soon.”

The seeming hold-up is Israel’s refusal to stop its ground incursion and bombing campaign against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.

“Our assessment is that during the period when there will be a temporary ceasefire, say one or two days, this could be a window to rescue them,” Thavisin said.

Bangkok had asked Egypt, Qatar and Malaysia as well to pass on its urgent request for their freedom, he added, and had received “full support” from these countries.

Jerusalem has continuously insisted that any ceasefire must come as a quid pro quo for the release of all the hostages.

At least 32 Thais are among the 1,400 victims massacred on what Israelis call “the Black Sabbath,” and 19 were injured. Pictures from Kibbutz Alumim show both Thai and Nepalese farm hands being taken to a large room, and when IDF troops arrived hours later, they found only bodies.