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Thai hostage did not give birth in Hamas’ captivity

The woman’s mother denied that she was pregnant

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Claim: A pregnant Thai woman, Natthawaree Mulkan, who was abducted by Hamas following their attack on Israel on 7 October 2023, has delivered a baby in captivity.

Fact: The woman who was taken hostage was not pregnant. Both Thailand’s foreign ministry and the woman’s mother have confirmed that the claim is false.

On 18 November 2023, X (formerly Twitter) user Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) posted a photo claiming that a Thai woman named “Nutthawaree Munkan” (sometimes referred to as Nuttahawaree Mulkan in the media), taken hostage by Hamas on 7 October, gave birth in captivity in Gaza.

The tweet exactly reads as follows:

“This is Nutthawaree Munkan, a pregnant Thai woman, taken hostage by Hamas on Oct 7, who gave birth in captivity in Gaza.

What kind of monsters & cowards take a pregnant woman hostage?

Where is @UN, @UN_Women, @ICRC, @womensmarch, The Squad & all the enlightened Western voices?”

On 16 November 2023, according to a report by WION, the wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed in a letter released by his office that a woman abducted by Hamas during an attack in Israel on 7 October had given birth while being held captive. The letter was addressed to US First Lady Jill Biden.

“You can only imagine, as I do, what must be going through that young mother’s mind as she is being held with her newborn by these murderers,” said Sara Netanyahu in the letter.

The letter dated 15 November can be found here on the Israeli government’s official website.

At the time, The Times of Israel and The Jerusalem Post also reported about the letter.

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check found that this claim is misleading. 

According to a report by The Bangkok Post published on 24 November, Thailand’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Kanchana Patarachoke said that  there is only one female among the Thai hostages, as per the information she received from the Thai embassy in Tel Aviv. “She denied rumours that the woman is pregnant.” the report added.

Matichon, a major Thai-language national daily newspaper, reported that Natthawaree’s mother, Bunyarin Srichan denied the claim to reporters on 21 November. The article elaborates that Srichan regularly video-called her daughter before she was taken hostage and there were no signs of morning sickness or any indication that her daughter was pregnant during these calls.

On 25 November, Natthawaree was one of the ten Thai hostages freed by Hamas during the first truce of the war, following a four-day truce agreement between Israel and Hamas. Around 30,000 labourers from Thailand, predominantly hailing from the economically disadvantaged northeast region, work in Israel’s agriculture industry, and represent one of the largest groups of migrant workers there.

35-year-old Natthawaree, hails from a small village in Thailand’s Khon Kaen province, where she was raised as the only child in a family of rice farmers. She came to Israel seeking employment, and began to work in agriculture at “Ego Growers” in Moshav Yesha four years ago. While working within the factory, Natthawaree met a Thai citizen, who had arrived in Israel five years ago. The couple had plans to return to Thailand together next year. 

Virality:

The claim can be found here, here, here, here and here on X (formerly Twitter).

On Facebook, it was shared here, here, here, here and here.

Conclusion: A recently released hostage, Natthawaree Mulkan, was not pregnant and did not give birth while she was held captive by Hamas. The fact was confirmed by Thailand’s foreign ministry as well as Natthwaree’s mother.

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