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Thai Mother Danced with Joy After Daughter Released from Gaza

Bunyarin Srijan, the mother of a Thai hostage released as part of a hostages-prisoners swap deal between Hamas and Israel, holds her phone showing an image of her daughter, Natthawaree Mulkan, during an interview at her home in Khon Kaen, Thailand November 25, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Napat Wesshasartar

When Natthawaree Mulkan’s mother saw that her daughter was among the Thai hostages released by Hamas, she was so happy she danced with her 8-year-old granddaughter outside their home in northeastern Thailand.

“I was elated … I came out and danced,” Bunyarin Srijan, 56, said pointing to her patio.

Natthawaree, a mother of two, was one of 10 Thai hostages freed by Hamas during the first truce of a seven-week-old war that started with the Palestinian terrorist group’s Oct. 7 assault on southern Israel.

She was the only Thai female abducted.

Her mother lost touch with her after the attack and then stopped following reports, dreading bad news.

“During that hopeless period I didn’t watch the news for half a month,” Bunyarin recounts alone in her living room.

“I was afraid of seeing my daughter lying dead.”

Some 30,000 Thai laborers, mainly from the country’s impoverished northeast, work in the Israeli agriculture sector, one of its largest groups of migrant workers.

Natthawaree is seen in a photograph from the Thai foreign ministry in a clinic, smiling with her hands clasped in a traditional ‘wai.’

Bunyarin said her daughter had planned to marry her boyfriend, Boonthom Phankhong, who was also abducted by Hamas and released on Friday.

“After she’s back, I’m going to take her to the temple to observe religious rites,” she said, wiping away tears.

Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said on Saturday that the government was still trying to secure the release of 20 Thai citizens who remain captive.

The post Thai Mother Danced with Joy After Daughter Released from Gaza first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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‘The mobs will not silence my voice’ says Conservative MP Melissa Lantsman after her Thornhill office is plastered with anti-Israel posters

Posters slamming Israel and decrying Canada’s suspension of funding to UNRWA were found at the Thornhill, Ont., offices of Melissa Lantsman, a pro-Israel and Jewish Conservative MP who serves as deputy leader of the Official Opposition.   “Blood on Your Hands,” “Stop Arming Israel” and “Fund UNRWA Now” were among the messages found taped to […]

The post ‘The mobs will not silence my voice’ says Conservative MP Melissa Lantsman after her Thornhill office is plastered with anti-Israel posters appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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IDF Chief Weighs in on Ultra-Orthodox Military Service, Week After New Draft Bill Proposed

FILE PHOTO: Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi speaks during his transition ceremony with the Prime Minister, Defense Minister, and the outgoing chief, in Jerusalem, January 16, 2023. Maya Alleruzzo/Pool via REUTERS

IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi called on the ultra-Orthodox public to mobilize for the current and future wars, a position at odds with their historic role in the state, in which they enjoy near blanket exemptions from military service.

“In these challenging days, there is one thing that is very clear: Everyone should mobilize for the defense of the homeland,” Halevi said.

He added: “This is a different era, and what was before it will certainly be re-examined. The IDF has always sought to bring into its ranks from all sections of Israeli society. This war illustrates the need to change. Join the service, protect the homeland. We have a historic opportunity to expand the sources of recruitment for the IDF at a time when the necessity is very high. We will know how to create the right solutions and conditions for any population that will join this noble mission.”

The issue of ultra-Orthodox enlistment in the IDF has been a hot button issue since the state’s establishment in 1948 and, in more recent years, the cause of wide scale backlash against the community. As part of an agreement when the state was founded, the ultra-Orthodox public was exempted completely from service. However, as the years progressed and the population grew exponentially, critics of the policy decried the unfairness of it.

A bill last week was introduced by the ruling Likud Party that called for an increase in military service time, particularly for reserve forces, yet failed to discuss the ultra-Orthodox issue. Backlash from both opposition and coalition members was swift.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich at the time said, “The ultra-Orthodox public is dear and loved and contributes a lot to the State of Israel, and it is now essential that it also take a more significant part in the tasks of defense and security. This move should happen out of dialogue and discussion and not by coercion or, God forbid, by defamation. Religious Zionism proves that it is possible to combine Torah study and observance of minor and severe mitzvot together with military service at the front. My ultra-Orthodox brothers, we need you!”

Halevi’s comments were his first on the highly contentious issue.

The post IDF Chief Weighs in on Ultra-Orthodox Military Service, Week After New Draft Bill Proposed first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Israeli victims of the Oct. 7 attacks present their case to the International Criminal Court, hoping for arrest warrants against Hamas

A legal brief documenting the kidnapping, rape, torture and executions of Israelis who are being held hostage by Hamas terrorists in Gaza has been filed at the International Criminal Court by the Canadian-based Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights. The 1,000-page dossier documents the brutality of the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel, which killed […]

The post Israeli victims of the Oct. 7 attacks present their case to the International Criminal Court, hoping for arrest warrants against Hamas appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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