MANILA – The Philippine government is on standby with evacuation plans ready for Filipinos as violence rages on between Gaza and Israel.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) would activate its evacuation plan as needed and as soon as the borders open and a humanitarian corridor is established.
In a situation bulletin on Thursday, the agency said no Filipino casualty or injury in Israel, Gaza Strip, or the West Bank has been reported since the Israeli forces and the Hamas militant group started trading airstrikes and rocket fires more than a week ago.
“The DFA and the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv, Amman, and Cairo are jointly monitoring the situation in Israel and the Gaza Strip and are prepared to assist Filipino nationals who may be affected by the ongoing conflict,” it said.
As of this posting, there are at least 29,473 Filipinos in Israel and 91 in Gaza.
In Israel, the alert level remains at 1 or precautionary phase where Filipino nationals are advised to follow instructions from the host government and the nearest Philippine Embassy.
Alert Level 2 or Restriction Phase, meanwhile, has been hoisted in Gaza Strip. Under the said level, Filipinos must avoid unnecessary travel and must prepare for possible evacuation.
According to the United Nations, more than 220 people have died in Gaza and the West Bank and 10 in Israel.
Some 6,000 people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip were also wounded, while 800 have been injured in Israel as of May 19.
The UN reported that nearly 60,000 people have been forced to leave or flee their homes in Gaza, with 47,000 currently sheltering in UN Relief and Works Agency schools. (PNA)