The Anti-Terrorism Council will push for the designation of Hamas as a terrorist group following its attack on Israel, National Security Adviser Secretary Eduardo Año said on Friday
“In solidarity with the people of Israel, we will push for the designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization under RA 11479 as a priority agenda of the Anti-Terrorism Council,” Año said in a statement.
He said his office “strongly condemns the terrorist assault by Hamas against the State and People of Israel and offer our condolences to the families and loved ones of those who have perished.”
He called the Hamas attack a “deadly and barbaric terrorist assault” on Israel.
Because the attack was supposedly targeting civilians, Año said Israel has the right to defend and protect itself from Hamas.
He said 1,200 people were already killed, including two Filipinos, and 3,000 were wounded. He said three Filipinos are still unaccounted for.
“Together with President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., we hope for a swift resolution to this conflict, we pray for the safety of innocent civilians, and we offer our thanks to the Government of Israel for its efforts to protect our citizens,” he said.
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said Wednesday that the Philippines stands with Israel following the deadly attacks by Hamas.
However, Palestine Ambassador to the Philippines Saleh Mohammad said Thursday that world leaders who expressed support to Israel amid its conflict with Palestinian militant group Hamas gave a “wrong message” to Israel, which later on resulted in a “massacre” in the Gaza Strip.
Mohammad called on the international community to review their message of support to Israel.
“My appeal to the international community, including international world leaders, who gave a wrong message to Israel in the beginning, just on Saturday and Sunday, that they understand the right and they support the right of Israel to defend itself. Yes, okay, they were right, but see the wrongly read message resulted in a massacre, in a genocide,” he said.
“This is just like a hidden agenda — it’s an ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people from Gaza. So, please review this message. Look at those people who are getting killed. They are innocent people,” he added.
The Philippines on Thursday has placed Gaza under Alert Level 3 amid the ongoing reprisal strikes by Israel, the DFA said.
Alert Level 3 means voluntary repatriation. According to the DFA, there are 137 Filipinos in Gaza.
Alert Level 2, meanwhile, is raised over Israel, which is home to at least 30,000 Filipino workers, most of them caregivers. It entails restriction of non-essential movements, avoiding places of protest, and preparation for possible evacuation.
Hamas militants carried out their deadliest attack in Israel’s history on Saturday, when gunmen rampaged through Israeli towns, killing more than 1,000 people and taking scores of hostages to Gaza.
Israel has retaliated with air strikes on Gaza that have razed entire districts as it prepares for a possible ground offensive.—Joviland Rita/AOL, GMA Integrated News