Quantcast
Latest Stories

PH reaches out to Filipinos trapped in Gaza

By

A plume of smoke is seen over central Gaza Strip, after an airstrike by Israeli forces, as seen from the Israel Gaza border, Monday, November 19, 2012. Israeli aircraft struck crowded areas in the Gaza Strip and killed a senior militant with a missile strike on a media center Monday, driving up the Palestinian death toll to 96, as Israel broadened its targets in the 6-day-old offensive meant to quell Hamas rocket fire on Israel. AP/Lefteris Pitarakis

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia–President Benigno Aquino III on Monday said efforts were underway to reach Filipinos in the Gaza Strip, caught in the middle of bombings and air strikes between Israel and Hamas, the Islamic militant group ruling that area.

In a briefing for Manila-based reporters, Aquino, who was attending the 21st Asean Summit, said there were conflicting reports as to how many Filipinos were living in Gaza.

“In Gaza, the numbers are conflicting. [The Filipino population] ranges from about 119 to 121, I am told. Our embassy in Israel tells us that… only one [Filipino] is working in Gaza. The rest are married to Palestinians living in the Gaza strip,” he said.

Two rapid response teams have been sent to Egypt and Israel to assist in the possible evacuation of the Filipinos and their Palestinian spouses from Gaza, the Department of Foreign Affairs said.

The Philippine embassies in Egypt and Israel, which border the Gaza Strip, have identified possible exit points in coordination with authorities in the area, according to the DFA.

Aquino said the situation was becoming more alarming in Gaza strip, where dozens have died in a week of fighting.

“In Gaza, they are scared. There was a Filipino living near an area supposedly attacked by Israel and he said they are scared. But they are unanimous in not wanting to be repatriated,” he said.

He noted that this was the same situation in Libya when Filipinos refused to be evacuated even as the violence escalated.

On the other hand, some 41,000 Filipinos in Israel, most of them caregivers, Aquino said. But he said the government did not see any immediate need to repatriate them.

“The people in Israel will normally have access to bomb shelters,” he said. “We don’t think that we will have to evacuate 41,000. But we just want to be prepared.”

“We’d rather bring all of the 41,000 home but they will have disrupted jobs, etcetera. We will be impinging on their right to travel, etcetera. There are also limits to how we can implement forced evacuation,” he said.

Hamas, regarded as a terrorist organization by the United States and Israel, seized control of Gaza in 2007 after winning a general election. Israel withdrew from the strip in 2005 but maintained a blockade around it.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Features , Foreign affairs , Middle east , Overseas Filipinos



Copyright © 2014, .
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
Advertisement
  1. Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  2. Afghan hospital guard kills 3 US doctors, including Fil-Am pediatrician
  3. HK victims to get P115M; traders raised money
  4. Career diplomat is new PH consul general in Los Angeles
  5. Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  6. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  7. US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
  8. Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  9. Believe it or not: Filipinos love US more than Yanks
  10. Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  1. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  2. Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  3. Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  4. Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  5. 85% of Filipinos love US – survey
  6. 10 US presidents who visited the PH (and what they said)
  7. WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  8. 19 Ukrainians, Russians, Filipinas rescued in bar raid
  9. 150 Filipino teachers in Maryland to lose jobs, visas
  10. Japan mulls no visa rule for Filipinos
  1. US to China: We will protect Philippines
  2. Japan mulls no visa rule for Filipinos
  3. DFA grants visa-free privilege to 7 countries
  4. China warned: Don’t try to tow away BRP Sierra Madre
  5. Back home in Manila, and feeling out of place
  6. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  7. Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  8. China: PH tarnishing Beijing’s international image
  9. What’s inside BRP Sierra Madre?
  10. Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
Advertisement

News

  • Aquino to lead Air Force turnover rites
  • Security in place for Obama as police hope for ‘peaceful’ visit
  • Retired SC justice Lorenzo Relova; 98
  • Ligots fight 2nd forfeiture case
  • PH will be partly cloudy in afternoon, evening—Pagasa
  • Sports

  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • NLEX roars to 7th D-League win
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • A graduation story
  • Global Nation

  • Only 4 Etihad passengers not accounted for
  • Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  • Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  • HK victims to get P115M; traders raised money
  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 US doctors, including Fil-Am pediatrician
  • Marketplace