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OFWs on alert amid Gaza conflict

The Philippines is ready to facilitate emergency repatriation of Filipinos from Israel amid the heaviest fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants, Malacañang said Thursday.

A picture taken on May 13, 2021 shows a ball of fire engulfing the Al-Walid building which was destroyed in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza city early in the morning. The Israeli army has launched hundreds of air strikes on the Gaza Strip since the begining of the week, while Palestinian militants have launched more than 1,200 rockets, according
to Israel's army, in some of the worst violence in seven years in the area. AFP
In a virtual presser, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque called the Philippine Embassy in Israel and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) “experts” in ensuring the safety of Filipinos amid the latest escalation of violence in Gaza and Jerusalem.

“So we are preparing for Filipinos’  possible repatriation and they ar given a warning to stay safe because of the escalating tensions in Israel and its occupied territory,” Roque said.

Roque said the government would go on a special mission to fetch distressed Filipinos “if need be.”

“Our government will of course fetch our fellow countrymen if need be and if they want,” he said.

A total 29,473 Filipinos are currently working and residing in Israel.

No Filipino casualties have been reported amid the escalating exchange of air strikes and rocket fires between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas, the Department of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday.

Dozens of casualties, including children, were reported following the intense aerial exchanges between Israeli Forces and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip since 2016.

The Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv on Tuesday advised the Filipino community in Israel to stay vigilant and postpone or cancel travel plans to places near the border of Gaza.

The embassy also told them to avoid approaching the Israeli security forces stationed in “sensitive areas.”

Filipinos in Israel were also urged to find the nearest protected area when the need arises and take extra precautions when riding public vehicles.

In case of emergency, the embassy may be reached at +972.54.466.1188.

Affected Filipinos may also contact the Israeli authorities at 100 (Police), 101 (Ambulance or Emergency Service), 102 (Fire), 104 (Home Front Command), 106/107/108 (Municipality Call Center).

Topics: Overseas Workers Welfare Administration , Gaza , Jerusalem , OFW , Israel , Department of Foreign Affairs
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