DFA appeals to leaders of Israel, Egypt to allow safe exit of Filipinos in Gaza
MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo has appealed to Israeli and Egyptian leaders to ensure the safe exit of Filipinos at the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed this in a statement on Thursday, saying that Manalo immediately reached out to Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry following a notice that some individuals may finally be permitted to exit Gaza through the Rafah border crossing.
“On November 1, Secretary Manalo wrote to Israel’s Foreign Minister Cohen and Egypt’s Foreign Minister Shoukry to once again request their governments to issue the necessary permits for the safe passage of our countrymen,” said DFA.
“On November 2, Secretary Manalo requested a call with FM Cohen to follow up his letter and appeal to ensure as soon as possible [the] exit of Filipinos across the border,” it added.
To date, only two Filipinos have successfully exited the war-torn Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing.
While it is still uncertain when other Filipinos can cross the border, the DFA said they remain committed to ensuring the protection of Filipinos caught in the middle of the strife between Israel and Hamas.
Earlier, the DFA said there are still 134 Filipinos in Gaza. All of them are accounted for and in contact with the Philippine embassy in Amman, but only 115 have signified their intentions to be repatriated.