Newly-wed Filipina, married Filipino among dead in Israel-Hamas war

A newly-wed Filipina from Pangasinan and a married Filipino from Pampanga were among the hundreds of people who were killed in Israel after militant group Hamas launched a surprise multi-front attack on the country on Saturday.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv officials on Wednesday, Oct. 11, confirmed that two Filipinos were killed after Hamas militants opened fire on a kibbutz or an Israeli community near Israel's border with Gaza and peppered its members with bullets.

The female fatality was 32 years old, who had worked in Israel for six years; while the male fatality was 42, the Philippine embassy said.

Meanwhile, another Filipino is also feared dead—the third Filipino fatality if ever. But government officials are still verifying the victim's identity pending the DNA test result.

"'Yung isa po [na namatay] ay habang pine-pwersa ng militante yung kanilang pinto. Pagbukas po ng pinto, niratrat po yung caregiver, saka yung kanyang amo (One of them was killed after Hamas barged into their home and opened fire at them)," Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Labor Attaché Rodolfo Gabasan said at a public briefing.

"The Hamas came from Gaza, pumasok sa Southern Israel. At ito nag commit ng acts of terror and violence, dahil doon ng first day, marami namatay kasi either natamaan ng rockets or pinagbabaril, yun ang most likely ang nangyari sa isa (They entered into Southern Israel and committed acts of terror and violence. Many died on the first day after either being hit by rockets or bullets. That's most likely what happened to the other one)," DFA Undersecretary Eduardo Jose de Vega added.

De Vega said the agency is not disclosing the identities of the deceased Filipinos upon the request for privacy of their families.

The figures of affected Filipinos in Israel as of Wednesday morning, according to the embassy are:

  • two confirmed deaths
  • one feared to be dead
  • three remain missing, including one who was believed to be taken hostage by Hamas to Gaza after being recognized by his wife in social media videos; and
  • 26 rescued, including two who suffered gunshot wounds and smoke annihilation

Meanwhile, in Gaza, a territory governed by Hamas, at least 70 Filipinos already requested for repatriation, from 38 the previous day, de Vega said.

Most of the Filipinos in Gaza are married to a Palestinian spouse. De Vega said their spouses may enter the Philippines, although the question is if Palestinians would be allowed to leave their territory.

As Gaza's borders are now sealed off by Israel, De Vega said, the Philippine government may use a diplomatic approach to request to allow Filipino nationals leave the Palestinian territory either through nearby Egypt or by being fetched by Philippine military planes.