Metro Manila, Philippines — At least 23 Filipinos in Israel are waiting for approval from Israeli authorities to exit the Middle Eastern country and return to the Philippines, according to the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW).
“Meron tayong nakalap na listahan ng 23 na inihahanay natin for repatriation subject to the approval of the proper Israeli authorities,” DMW officer-in-charge Hans Leo Cacdac told the House committee on overseas workers affairs on Wednesday. “Kasi halimbawa, ang Ben Gurion International Airport, limited ang operation ngayon so kailangan may pagpapaalam.
[Translation: We have a list of 23 Filipinos we are lining up for repatriation subject to the approval of the proper Israeli authorities because for example, the Ben Gurion International Airport, the operation is limited now so there needs to be permission.]
Cacdac said the DMW is planning how to proceed with the repatriation safely in coordination with the Israeli government.
Of the 23 Filipinos, 14 work as caregivers, one is a hotel worker while the rest are permanent residents of Israel.
Cacdac earlier said around a tenth of the 30,000 Filipinos in Israel are in conflict areas in the south.
Earlier, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Eduardo Dela Vega said 70 Filipinos living in Gaza, the center of conflict between Israeli forces and militant group Hamas, have requested repatriation.
He said the Philippine government is using diplomacy to facilitate the repatriation because of the ongoing conflict.
To date, De Vega said two Filipinos in Israel have been killed, while there is one unconfirmed death that is still being verified.
Meanwhile, three Filipinos in Israel are still unaccounted for, he added.
The Philippines has condemned Hamas attacks, which began on Saturday during Simchat Torah, a peaceful Jewish celebration, and killed thousands.
With reports from CNN Philippines’ Xianne Arcangel.