OFWs in Israel struggle to sleep as Israeli-Palestinian hostilities intensify

Published May 15, 2021, 3:28 PM

by Jaleen Ramos

Filipino workers in Israel struggle to sleep following nights of continuous aerial exchanges between Israel and Palestine.

Palestinian protesters place a national flag on a traffic sign during clashes with Israeli forces in the Shuafat Palestinian neighbourhood, neighbouring the Israeli settlement of Ramat Shlomo, in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem on May 14, 2021. (Ahmad GHARABLI / AFP/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Arwin Sausa, in an interview with GMA’s “State of the Nation”, said OFWs in Israel cannot go to sleep amid fears of bombs going off as tension between Israel and Palestine intensifies.

“Kapagka ‘yung gabi na po, nakapikit lang po kami pero ‘yung diwa po namin gising kasi nga po anytime may bomba po na dumating, nakakatakot po kasi (When it’s nighttime, our eyes are closed but we remain aware of what’s going on because a bomb may go off anytime. It’s scary.), ” Sausa said.

“Matatanaw po namin ‘yung Gaza at saka po ‘yung mga binabato po nila. Kaya po talagang dapat gising ka lagi tapos alerto ka (We can see Gaza and what they’re throwing. That’s why you need to be awake and alert all the time.), ” he added.

Tensions between Israelis and Palestinians have escalated further as Palestinian armed groups in Gaza fired hundreds of rockets into Israel which responded with airstrikes on the coastal enclave.

At least 132 people have been killed in Gaza since Monday, including 32 children, and 950 others wounded, Palestinian medical officials said.

In Israel, at least seven have been killed in the rocket attacks launched by armed groups in Gaza, Al Jazeera reported.

Sausa said that a siren could be heard warning of an impending attack and they will receive alerts on their cellphones.

“Kahit ‘yung sabihin mong nasa safety room ka, ‘yung mapapaisip ka na lang rin po na what if ‘yung bomba tumama sa ganyan tapos mabasag po ‘yung ano (Even if you say that you are in the safety room, you can’t help but think that what if the bomb hits something and breaks it.),” he added.

The Israeli Iron Dome missile defence system (L) intercepts rockets (R) fired by the Hamas movement towards southern Israel from Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip as seen in the sky above the Gaza Strip overnight on May 14, 2021. (ANAS BABA / AFP/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Jimmer Bucasas, another OFW, said they did not expect that such chaos would erupt there.

“Sobrang ano po, nakakakaba kasi hindi po namin expect na magkakagulo nang ganito tapos first time ko po na mangyari po sa akin na ganon (It’s really alarming because we did not expect chaos to erupt here and it is the first time that I experienced this.),” Bucasas told GMA.

“Iniisip ko na lang po ‘yung kaligtasan din po namin tapos nagdadasal na lang din po palagi (I’m just thinking about our safety and I’m just praying all the time),” he added.

According to the data provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs, there are nearly 30,000 Filipinos in Israel as of June 2020.