Foreign workers have long faced precarious living conditions in Israel, especially during military conflict. And on Tuesday, a Hamas rocket attack killed two Thai workers and wounded at least seven others in a packaging house in southern Israel, Thai and Israeli officials said.
Businesses near the border with Gaza are allowed to operate if they have access to a bomb shelter or a safety room, but a local official said the agricultural community where the Thai workers died did not have such a space.
That is often the case with such setups, an expert on foreign labor in Israel said.
“Thai workers come to Israel on temporary programs and live in caravans and containers that are often overcrowded and in poor sanitary conditions,” said Yahel Kurlander, a researcher and the University of Tel Aviv who specializes in Thai workers in Israel.
“These housings don’t have the safety rooms required by law or outlined in the contracts of these workers, who don’t have anywhere to hide,” she added.
Indian woman who worked as a caregiver in Ashkelon. Previous Hamas rocket attacks killed a Thai agricultural worker in Israel in 2014 and injured another in 2018.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a briefing on Wednesday that the recent deaths of the foreign workers were “one more manifestation of the fact that Hamas indiscriminately targets everyone.”