No Filipino casualties in ongoing Israeli-Palestinian hostilities; DFA contingency plans ready

Published May 12, 2021, 3:35 PM

by Roy Mabasa

The Philippine Embassy in Jerusalem has not received any report of Filipino casualties amid the ongoing escalation of the violence between Israel and the Palestinians, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday.

DFA Strategic Communications Executive Director Ivy Banzon-Abalos said contingency plans are already in place should the current situation further escalates.

Israeli security forces clash with Palestinian protesters at the Hawara checkpoint, south of Nablus city, in the occupied West Bank on May 10, 2021. JAAFAR ASHTIYEH / AFP

“So far our embassy in Israel has not received any report of Filipino casualties. The Embassy is in touch with Filipino organizations and networks; shelters are there to provide refuge, including for Filipino workers; contingency plans are in place for developments in the situation,” Abalos said in a message to reporters.

According to the data provided by the DFA, there are an estimated 29,473 Filipinos in Israel as of June 2020.

Reports showed that at least 35 people were killed in Gaza, including a dozen of children, while Israel suffered five casualties as hostilities continue without let up.

Both the Israelis and the Palestinians, however, showed no signs of ceasing their respective operations even as international calls for calm have increased over the last few days.

In a statement, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said he was “gravely concerned” about the escalation of violence in Gaza and “to the heightened tensions and violence in occupied East Jerusalem.”

Guterres also called on Israeli security forces to “exercise maximum restraint and calibrate their use of force”, while adding that “indiscriminate launching of rockets and mortars towards Israeli population centers is unacceptable.”