Asean condemns killing of civilians | Global News

Asean condemns killing of civilians

/ 05:30 AM October 22, 2023

ESCALATING CONFLICT Houses and buildings in Gaza City are destroyed following Israeli strikes on Oct. 10. —REUTERS filipinos killed

ESCALATING CONFLICT Houses and buildings in Gaza City are destroyed following Israeli strikes on Oct. 10. —REUTERS

Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) have come together to make an urgent call to end the conflict between Israel and the Palestine Islamist group Hamas that has already displaced civilians and taken thousands of lives, including Asean nationals.

In a statement on Oct. 20, the Asean said it “strongly condemned” the acts of violence that has led to the death of civilians in Israel and the Gaza Strip.


“We urge for the immediate end of violence to avoid further human casualties and call for the full respect of International Humanitarian Law,” the statement read.


“We call on all parties to create a safe, rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian corridors,” it added.

While 34 Filipinos in Israel have been successfully repatriated by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), no Filipino nationals in Palestine have been repatriated as the strip remains to be the most intense battlefield in the war.

Tel Aviv gave Manila a heads-up that a corridor may soon have a temporary opening “any day now” but with no assurance.

Egypt’s Ambassador to the Philippines Ahmed Shehabeldin said they have every intention to prioritize Filipinos but they are unable to do now because of Israel’s bombing of Rafah crossing, described the most probable zone for the corridor.

‘What self-defense’

In an online press briefing late Friday, Palestinian Ambassador Saleh Mohammad lamented the statement of some world leaders supporting Israel’s “self-defense.”

“What you see now in Gaza, is this [self-]defense? The scenes of these people getting killed. [The] innocent people, this is what the world leaders authorized Israel to do,” he added.


The death toll in Israel has remained at 1,400 in the past week, but during Tel Aviv’s continuous attacks in Gaza, the casualty number of Palestinians continued to rise to more than 4,000 as of Friday.

“Right of [self-] defense is not like committing genocide,” Mohammad said.

The Asean also called on the peaceful settlement of the war through a “negotiated two-state solution” that would allow Israel and Palestine to live harmoniously.

“We further call on all parties to protect and ensure safety and security to all civilians, including Asean nationals and the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages,” the 10-country bloc chaired by Indonesia demanded.

An Ilongga caregiver, Grace Pedrigo Cabrera, 44, was one of the confirmed Filipinos who was taken hostage by Hamas and later found dead in the desert.

Three others were confirmed to have died during Hamas’ ambush in Israel on Oct. 7. They were Angelyn Peralta Aguirre, 33; Paul Vincent Castelvi, 42; and Loreta Villarin Alacre, 49.

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration said on Friday there have been no updates on two unaccounted Filipinos who are still missing.

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Mohammad said he shares his “sympathies and condolences” to the families of the Filipino victims as he hoped those who remain missing will eventually be found.

TAGS: Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Israel-Hamas war

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