Filipino caregiver wounded before fleeing Hamas attack
MANILA, Philippines — A Filipino caregiver working in Israel who was earlier reported to be among those missing in the aftermath of the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks has managed to escape the bloodbath, albeit with a gunshot wound in the arm.
The Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv on Friday said Joey Pagsolingan was hit by a bullet in his left arm before he could flee the onslaught of the Palestinian militants.
Philippine Ambassador Israel Pedro Laylo Jr. met with Pagsolingan on Wednesday at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, the embassy said.
Thanks to IDF
The Filipino was wounded during the assault on Be’eri kibbutz, one of the targets of the Hamas incursions on Oct. 7 that have since triggered devastating reprisals from Israel.
According to the embassy, Laylo expressed his gratitude to members of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) who found him while he was still at Be’eri, a kibbutz near the eastern border of the Gaza Strip.
Laylo also thanked members of the Filipino community in Israel who visited and brought food and groceries to Pagsolingan.
Labor attaché Rodolfo Gabasan and welfare officer Dina Ponciano also went to see the caregiver, assuring him of emergency financial assistance from the Philippine government.
Reached by the Inquirer on Friday, Consul General Anthony Mandap said Pagsolingan had yet to decide whether he would like to be repatriated despite what happened.
The caregiver’s medical bills will be covered by his insurance and he has also yet to claim some employment benefits, Mandap said.
As of Friday, 32 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) had been repatriated from Israel since the latest eruption of violence between Israel and Hamas, with 50 more OFWs awaiting their flight back to Manila.
There are an estimated 30,000 Filipinos in Israel, the majority of them working as caregivers.
The government has confirmed the death of four Filipinos in the Hamas attacks. Two more OFWs remain missing.