MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines will implement the mandatory repatriation of Filipinos in the Gaza Strip after the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) raised Alert Level 4 in the area on Saturday, July 19, citing security threats posed by the Israel-Hamas conflict.
“The Philippine Embassies in Cairo, Tel Aviv, and Amman are ready to repatriate Filipinos from Gaza in coordination with concerned authorities of Israel, Egypt, Jordan and the United Nations and other International Organizations operating in Gaza,” the DFA said in a statement.
In addition, the DFA has raised Alert Level 2 or restriction phase in areas in Israel within 15 kilometers from the Gaza Strip border, while Alert Level 1 or precautionary phase remains in the West Bank and the rest of Israel.
The DFA reiterated the Philippines’ call for an end of the hostilities which had claimed innocent lives in the Gaza Strip.
“The DFA continues to closely monitor developments. The Philippines calls for the cessation of hostilities to prevent further loss of innocent lives,” it said.
There are an estimated 109 Filipinos in the Gaza Strip, about 113 Filipinos in the West Bank, and 36,400 Filipinos in Israel.
Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on July 8 to stamp out rocket fire from Gaza, pounding the enclave from both the air and the sea.
On July 12, the DFA raised Alert Level 2 in Kenya and the Gaza Strip. – with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com