OFW ban to Israel lifted–DFABy Fat Reyes
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday lifted its temporary ban on the deployment of new hires to Israel, citing improved security conditions following the ceasefire between Israeli and Hamas forces.
In its statement, the DFA also clarified that its advisories against traveling to Gaza, and to Central and Southern Israel, had also been lifted.
“In view of improved security conditions in Israel and Gaza as a result of the ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas, the DFA Travel Advisory issued on 23 November 2012, which advised Filipinos to defer travel to Gaza and central and southern Israel in view of the Israel-Hamas conflict, is now lifted,” the DFA said.
The DFA placed parts of Israel on alert levels that barred the deployment of new hires. Alert level 2, or the restriction phase, was placed over central and southern Israel, while alert level 4, or mandatory repatriation, was called over Hamas-controlled Gaza.
On November 21, warring sides agreed on a ceasefire that ended a week of violence in and around the Gaza Strip that killed more than 150 people.
Israeli Ambassador to Manila Menashe Bar-on asked the Philippine government to remove the ban, saying the situation in Israel was returning to normal after the ceasefire agreement.
The Philippine government had said that more than 40,000 Filipinos, mostly employed as caregivers, live in Israel, while there are about 120 Filipinos in Gaza.
The Israeli embassy in Manila, in an emailed statement, said that it welcomed the DFA’s move to lift the ban.