Philippines may also repatriate Palestinian spouses of Filipinos in Gaza
More News from Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Two rapid response teams (RRT) were sent to Egypt and Israel on Monday to assist in the possible evacuation of some 100 Filipinos and their Palestinian spouses in the conflict-stricken Gaza, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a press briefing on Monday.
DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez said that most Filipinos married to Palestinians would not leave without their spouses. “So if ever there is a need to repatriate, maybe we have to also repatriate their spouses,” he said.
Hernandez said that although repatriation has always been for Filipinos only, “if our nationals will not leave without their families and we are so concerned about their safety, we might as well bring their families along with them.”
The DFA official said that “the RRTs are there to do an assessment of the condition, as well as to prepare for possible evacuation,” although there has been no reported Filipino casualty in the recent escalation of violence between the Israeli military and the Gaza-based Palestinian extremist group Hamas.
But the Philippine embassies in Egypt and Israel, which border the Gaza Strip, have identified possible exit points in coordination with authorities in the area, Hernandez said. “Some exit points in Israel are protected by Hamas (so) we’ll have to use other exit points in the contingency plans.”
There are about 41,000 Filipinos in Israel, according to the DFA spokesman, who said that as of Monday, there was no danger that would warrant an evacuation.
“Our priority (are) the Filipinos in Gaza Strip (which is) controlled by Hamas,” he added.
As of Sunday, no one has signified a request for evacuation, Hernandez said. “But we are preparing for the worst-case scenario,” he added.
The Filipinos “were alerted to be mindful of security and safety and to watch out for advisories from embassies,” Hernandez said, adding that families may call the DFA’s 24-hour hotline (632) 8433333 for updates on the situation in Gaza.
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94