DFA: No Pinoy killed, hurt in Israel, Gaza, West Bank as violence persists

Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 20 2021 04:58 PM

DFA: No Pinoy killed, hurt in Israel, Gaza, West Bank as violence persists 1
A view shows the remains of a building after it was destroyed in Israeli air strikes, amid a flare-up of Israeli-Palestinian fighting, in Gaza City May 18, 2021. Suhaib Salem, Reuters

MANILA - There were no reports of Filipinos killed or injured in Israel, the Gaza Strip or the West Bank amid violence in the region, said a situation bulletin issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday. 

“Thus far, the department has not received any report of Filipino casualties or injured in Israel, the Gaza Strip, or the West Bank since the recent escalation of violence in certain areas within the region,” the agency said. 

The DFA added that it is on standby with evacuation plans “ready to be activated as needed and as soon as the borders open and a humanitarian corridor is established.”

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The agency and the country's embassies in Tel Aviv, Amman, and Cairo continue to monitor the situation and expressed readiness to assist Filipino nationals who may be affected by the ongoing conflict.

Earlier, the DFA placed Israel and West Bank under Alert Level 1, the Precautionary Phase, where Filipinos are advised to follow the advice of the host government and the nearest Philippine Embassy. 

Gaza, meanwhile, was placed under Alert Level 2 or Restriction Phase where Filipinos are told to avoid unnecessary travel and prepare for possible evacuation.

There are 29,473 Filipinos in Israel and 91 Filipinos in Gaza, according to DFA data.

The Department of Labor and Employment earlier deployed its rapid response team to repatriate Filipinos who want to return home but none so far has expressed willingness.

Meanwhile, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said earlier in the day that his agency is suspending the deployment of migrant workers to Israel due to the mounting violence there. 

Israel bombarded Gaza with air strikes and Palestinian militants kept up cross-border rocket fire, with no firm sign on Wednesday of any imminent ceasefire despite international calls to end more than a week of fighting.

Any Filipino in distress in the region, meanwhile, were advised by the DFA to contact the nearest embassy with the following contact details:
 
Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel:

  • Facebook Page: Embassy of the Philippines in Israel (https://bit.ly/33WIC6T)
  • Emergency hotline: +972 54 466 1188

Philippine Embassy in Amman, Jordan:

  • Facebook Page: Philippine Embassy in Jordan
  • Emergency hotline: +962 777988818

Philippine Embassy in Cairo, Egypt:

  • Facebook Page: Embassy of the Philippines in Egypt (https://bit.ly/3u2CbJS)
  • ATN hotline: +20-122 7436472

 
- With a report from Reuters