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DOLE gears up to evacuate Filipinos in Israel, Gaza

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said it is preparing to extract Filipinos who are located in affected areas in Israel and Gaza if the ongoing violence in the area escalates further, adding it will need manpower and an additional budget to do so.

In a briefing on Friday, Israel Labor Attache Labatt Rudy Gabasan said this is being prioritized in case the situation becomes more critical for Filipinos residing in affected areas of Israel, specifically in the southern coastal cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon.

“We need personnel if we are going to extract Filipinos here. At the same time, the budget issue is already being asked by the Department of Foreign Affairs here in Israel for an emergency fund to be sent here,” he said in Filipino.

He said that they may have to rescue 10 Filipinos who are residing in Gaza. They are not overseas Filipino workers but are spouses of Palestinians.

Mr. Gabasan said they are in talks with the hotel associations in the country to provide rooms for Filipino evacuees.

No Filipinos have been reported injured or killed in the ongoing violence in Israel and Gaza.

“Physically there is no reported injury or death but because of the gravity of consecutive bombings here, many Filipinos are experiencing trauma,” said Mr. Gabasan.

He added that they had to extract one Filipina whose Arab-Israeli spouse and child were killed when their compound was hit by a rocket in the city of Lod in Israel. — Gillian M. Cortez

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