Filipinos affected by Israel-Hamas hostilities evacuated

Published May 17, 2021, 8:02 AM

by Jaleen Ramos

Filipinos staying in areas affected by the ongoing hostilities between Israel and Hamas militants have been evacuated, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said on Sunday, May 16.

Fire and smoke rise above buildings in Gaza City as Israeli warplanes target the Palestinian enclave, early on May 17, 2021. MAHMUD HAMS / AFP/ MANILA BULLETIN

In a report from GMA’s “24 Oras Weekend”, OWWA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said Filipino workers have already been evacuated from Ashkelon, Ashdod, and Gaza Strip.

“Sa ngayon, in-country evacuation at least sa tatlong apektadong areas (So far, in-country evacuation at least in the three affected areas),” Cacdac said.

He added that although Filipinos in the Gaza Strip have already been evacuated, they cannot be repatriated yet.

“Dahil matindi pa ngayon ang mga rocket fire at may ground troops na ngang nagsagawa ng operation, stay put muna where they are (Because the rocket fires are still intense and ground troops have already conducted the operation, they have to stay put first),” Cacdac said.

“Hingi lang ng tulong o saklolo at dadalhin sila sa safe shelter. May dalawang parokya doon na ina-identify as staging area (Just ask for help and they will be taken to a safe shelter. There are two parishes there that are identified as staging areas),” he added.

Early Sunday, two Israeli airstrikes in Gaza killed at least 43 Palestinians, including eight children, and wounded 50 others, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

At least 197 people have been killed in Gaza since Monday, including 58 children, while 1,225 others have been injured.

In Israel, at least 10 have been killed, including two children.

There are no reported casualties among Filipinos.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III had earlier assured that there is a rapid rescue team on standby to monitor the situation in the host country.

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