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MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines confirmed on Thursday, October 19 that another Filipino has died in Israel in the war between the Jewish nation and the militant Hamas.
“I regret to inform the nation that we have received confirmation from the Israeli government of another Filipino casualty in Israel,” said Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Enrique Manalo in a post on the platform X, formerly Twitter.
“Out of respect for the wishes of the family, we shall be withholding details on the identity of the victim. But we have assured the family of the government’s full support and assistance,” he added.
DFA Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega later said in a press briefing that the fourth Filipino casualty was among the three reported missing Filipinos. “She was first abducted and then killed,” he added.
No further details were given as De Vega said the victim’s have yet to be updated on the fate of their daughter.
Thus far, 4 Filipinos – 3 of them Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Israel – have been killed since Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel on October 7. All three previously confirmed fatalities were killed on the day Hamas attacked Israel’s southernmost settlements and towns.
One has since been cremated and his remains are now with his wife, while documents are being processed for two remians of other Filipinos.
Israel has since launched what it calls retaliatory attacks on Gaza, where Hamas is based.
The war has killed over 1,300 Israelis, more than 3,000 in the Palestinian territory Gaza, and close to 80 in the West Bank, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
The Philippines has yet to account for 3 of its nationals in Israel. It’s unclear if the new confirmed casualty is among the 3 previously reported missing.
In Gaza, around 130 Filipinos – Filipinos married to Palestinians, their children and grandchildren – are trapped, as Israel delivers on its promise to “crush and eliminate” Hamas. Less than 100 of them are still waiting for the implementation of a humanitarian corridor that would allow them to leave Gaza and come to Manila.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has promised that the Philippines would stand with Israel and has met with Israel’s Ambassador to Manila, Ilan Fluss, in Malacañang.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday, October 18 said both Israel and Hamas should “protect civilians” amid war, after a blast hit the Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City, killing over 500 people.
“The Philippines is profoundly saddened over the recent bombing of the Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza,” said DFA spokesperson Teresita Daza.
“We grieve for the hundreds of innocent lives lost in this tragic incident, non-combatants which include medical practitioners, children, the wounded, and displaced individuals who only sought shelter at the facility,” she said.
“All parties should do their utmost to protect civilians in times of war and armed conflict. We support efforts of the United Nations to provide humanitarian relief in the conflict areas,” Daza added.
There are around 30,000 Filipinos, mostly caregivers, in Israel. Out of that number, only 31 have said that they want to return to Manila – 16 have already arrived, officials said. – Rappler.com