Only 12 Filipinos want to leave violence-torn Gaza strip
Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said Wednesday at least 12 of more than a hundred Filipinos in conflict-stricken Gaza strip want to evacuate as the international community intercedes to halt reciprocal firing between Hamas and Israel.
“Twelve people have expressed interest in leaving Gaza: four want to come home while the rest want to go to Egypt,” said Del Rosario in a press briefing on Wednesday afternoon.
Up to 120 Filipino workers and their families are known to reside in Hamas-ruled Gaza, where violence flared last week between Israel and Hamas militants.
Egypt and other nations are currently trying to broker a ceasefire between the two parties.
According to Del Rosario, Israel has guaranteed Filipinos safe passage out of Gaza, saying “they will treat Filipinos as they treat their own citizens concerning their welfare,” said Del Rosario.
The Embassy, however, reported that Hamas has blocked the open crossing that Israel established to allow foreigners out of the conflict zone. It charged Hamas of holding hostage foreigners who would like to flee the conflict.
Del Rosario said the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv and the Rapid Response Team recently deployed by the home office are closely monitoring the condition of Filipinos in Gaza.
There are a total 41,000 Filipinos in Israel, mostly working as caregivers.
Earlier, DFA said Filipinos outside the conflict zone are “relatively safe,” as most stay in homes with bomb shelters.
Originally posted at 05:50 pm | Wednesday, November 21, 2012
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