Dear all compatriots,
I would like to take this opportunity to inform you about the progress related to the Cambodian people, especially the Cambodian students, living and studying in Israel. First of all, on behalf of the Royal Government and on my own behalf, I would like to extend my deepest condolence to the family of the Cambodian student, Chan Udom, who lost his life in the fighting eruption between the Israeli and Hamas on October 7, 2023.
I take this opportunity to reassure all our compatriots, especially our students and the Cambodian people who are present in Israel, as well as the families in Cambodia, that the safety of the Cambodian people, especially our students in Israel is the highest priority of the Royal Government. In this regard, the Royal Government, through relevant institutions such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, the intelligence agency of the Ministry of National Defense and relevant institutions of Cambodia, have been monitoring the situation days and nights and made every effort to ensure the safety of our people there.
As the situation took place, I entrusted His Excellency Sok Chenda Sophea, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, His Excellency Dith Tina, Minister of Agriculture, and the Intelligence Department of the Ministry of National Defense and other relevant institutions of Cambodia to communicate by all means with the relevant institutions of Israel, as well as other sources with whom we have contacts in Israel, including students and our people who are there for three purposes.
(1) to determine the number and identity of the Cambodian people present in Israel, especially our students,
(2) to try to communicate with all the students and people there to get information on whether they are safe, to determine if they are in a safe area or a conflict red zone, and
(3) In the event that there are Cambodian citizens and/or students in the red zone, we will try to contact the Israeli authority to rescue and evacuate to a safe area as soon as possible.
As a result, as of 7 am on October 10, 2023, we have determined the number of Cambodians in Israel to be 454, plus the one killed on October 7, 2023. We have contacted all 454 of them so far, and we can confirm that they are all safe. However, only 323 were evacuated to safety zone, while 131 are still in the area of occasional fighting. The Royal Government of Cambodia and relevant institutions will continue to closely monitor them until all Cambodians in Israel have reached a safe place.
Regarding this matter, I call on the Cambodian people in Israel, especially our students, to continue to keep themselves safe and strictly respect all the instructions of the Israeli authorities. Please remain silent and believe in the ability of the Israeli authorities in ensuring the safety of both Israelis and all nationals living in Israel, including the Cambodian people. The Israeli government has assured that it has sufficient capacity to ensure the safety of all citizens, whether Israelis or foreigners. The Israeli government will provide the assistance to foreigners and the Israelis.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Samdech Techo Hun Sen, former Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Senior Officials of the National Security Agency, as well as the Cambodian embassies in Turkey and Egypt, the Cambodian Honorary Consul in Israel, sister Channa, a Cambodian woman who married an Israeli husband, and the representative of Cambodian students in Israel, who have worked together to facilitate and communicate in a timely manner the cooperation with the Israeli authorities in rescuing the Cambodian citizens and evacuating them from danger areas to safety.
I would like to thank the Israeli Embassy of Cambodia, which has a residence in Bangkok, the Israeli authorities, law enforcements, schools and relevant institutions in Israel for their cooperation and assistance provided to Cambodian students there at this difficult time.
I hope that the fighting will end soon through effort to yield a negotiated solution rather than the use of weapons along with safe release of all civilians and hostages. This situation confirms that we all should understand the value of peace, and we all must work together to ensure the peace that prevails on the Cambodian territory.
Finally, I would like to reaffirm to all Cambodians that the safety of the Cambodian people, especially our students, who are currently in Israel, is the highest priority of the Royal Government of Cambodia and we will continue to closely monitor, take care and take necessary and timely measures, especially in cooperation with the Israeli authorities to ensure their safety. Thank you.