Two Migrant Workers Killed by Gaza Rocket in Southern Israel

Israeli death toll in the conflict rises to 12 ■ The victims, two Thai men in their thirties, were working at a packaging factory

Almog Ben Zikri
Almog Ben Zikri
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The home hit by the Gaza rocket in Ashkelon
The home hit by the Gaza rocket in Ashkelon, todayCredit: Ilan Assayag
Almog Ben Zikri
Almog Ben Zikri

Two people were killed and seven wounded at a factory in southern Israel on Tuesday duruing a rocket barrage fired from Gaza. The two victims, men in their thirties, were migrant workers at a plastic factory. 

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Of the seven wounded, one was in serious condition. 

According to Yahel Kurlander, an expert on labor and migration, the state permits the establishment of homes for migrant workers "solely in mobile homes, out of the 'principle of transience' that prevents putting roots down in Israel. These structures don't have a fortified safe room, of course. Even in normal times, most of the workers from Thailand live in inappropriate conditions and horrific crowdedness." There is virtually no oversight of their living conditions or rights, she said.  

In Israel, twelve people have now been killed since the current exchanges of fire began last week between Israel and Hamas. Earlier Tuesday, a soldier was lightly wounded by a mortar shell that landed at the Erez border crossing.

Also Tuesday, the Israeli military said it had conducted airstrikes on the homes of 12 senior Hamas commanders over the previous 24 hours. The health ministry in Gaza meanwhile reported that the death toll from the attacks in the Palestinian enclave had risen to 213, including 61 children.

A migrant worker after the attack, today Credit: Ilan Assayag

International pressure has been mounting for Israel to agree to a cease-fire, with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken having spoken this week with the foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

U.S. President Joe Biden is under considerable pressure from senior figures in the Democratic Party to press Israel toward a cease-fire and to toughen his overall stance to the country. Israeli officials fear this could affect the generous credit Biden has given Israel so far.

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