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Sunday, December 10, 2023

43 Pinoys in Gaza coming home in 2 batches — DFA

Forty-three Filipinos from Gaza are coming home in two batches starting today, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Saturday.

At a news forum in Quezon City, Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Eduardo de Vega said the 43 migrant Filipinos will be arriving with their children.

The first batch, consisting of 20, will be coming home Sunday. The remaining 23 are expected to arrive either Monday or Tuesday.

De Vega said the Filipinos, married to Palestinians, are living and working in Gaza, the besieged city that has been the center of the Israel-Hamas conflict since Oct. 7.

Meanwhile, the government assured the public on Saturday that it has contingency plans in place in case the Israel-Hamas war escalates into a regional conflict.

De Vega said at the same news forum that the Philippine embassies in Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon have contingency plans in case the conflict spreads to other parts of the Middle East.

“These embassies have had contingency plans for a long time because the situation in the Middle East is always volatile… War is never positive, but we have to take it that there is some welcome news or some positive news that so far we have not seen an escalation,” he said.

Israeli forces are also trading fire at its border with Lebanon against Hezbollah, a Shia Islamist political party and militant group, he noted.

According to De Vega, they received information from Filipinos in Israel that the situation in the Jewish state appears to be normalizing, particularly in most Israeli cities, including Tel Aviv.

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