DFA: Rafah border opening crucial for repatriation of Filipinos
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday said it is hoping that the Rafah border crossing near Egypt would be opened for humanitarian purposes to allow people to escape the raging Israel-Hamas conflict.
The DFA noted that the Rafah border crossing is crucial to efforts to evacuate Filipinos in Gaza.
“[The] DFA is hopeful for a solution to be reached soonest in order for the Rafah crossing to start receiving foreign nationals so that our kababayans (compatriots) in Gaza will be allowed to cross into Egypt,” DFA spokesperson Teresita Daza, a former ambassador to Chile, explained in a statement.
“From there, our teams will work on their repatriation to the Philippines,” she added.
DFA Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega earlier said they are working with partners to request the opening of an Israel border and the Rafah border for humanitarian purposes.
In a radio interview on Monday, de Vega said 131 Filipinos are currently in the war-ravaged Gaza Strip.
Seventy-eight are near the Rafah border crossing, while 30 remain in other parts of Southern Gaza. The rest have left the northern Gaza or Gaza City.
The Philippine government placed Gaza under alert level 4 on Sunday, October 15, making repatriation mandatory for all Filipinos in the area.