Embassy Warns Israelis in Thailand to Stay Near Hotels

Flights from Israel to Bangkok proceeding as scheduled, despite military coup launched against Thai PM.

The Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that for now, life is going on as usual in Thailand, despite a military coup launched against the Thai prime minister.

The Israeli embassy in Bangkok instructed Israelis in Thailand to take precautions and stay close to their accommodations.

The Foreign Ministry recommended that those planning on departing to Thailand in the coming days follow the media for updates and examine whether their trips truly necessary.

Air traffic between Israel and Thailand is currently proceeding as scheduled.

Haaretz learned that no cancellations were registered and flights had not been halted in either direction. Of 350 passengers scheduled to fly Tuesday night on El Al's flight from Tel Aviv to Bangkok, 345 boarded the plane.

Flights between Israel and Bangkok on foreign carriers are proceeding as usual as well.

The Jordanian airline's office in Israel reported that the Bangkok airport is also functioning as usual, despite the coup.

The Thai military launched the coup against Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Tuesday, circling his offices with tanks, seizing control of television stations and declaring a provisional authority loyal to the king.

The army took control of Bangkok without a shot being fired and announced a commission to reform the constitution, despite the prime minister's declaration of a state of emergency from New York.

A government spokesman with Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra at the United Nations said the coup could not succeed and "we're in control".

Tanks and soldiers took over Government House in Thailand's first coup in 15 years and a coup spokesman said on television the army and police were in control of the capital and surrounding provinces.

The seizure would be temporary and power "returned to the people" soon, retired Lieutenant-General Prapart Sakuntanak said on all Thai television channels.

The army declared martial law, told all soldiers to report to base and banned unauthorised troop movements, suggesting the military leadership was worried that Thaksin loyalists in the armed forces might attempt a counter-coup.

Thailand is a popular destination among young Israelis recently discharged from the military, as well as among Israeli families.