PHL government checking ‘likely death’ of Filipino caregiver in Israel


THE Philippine Embassy in Tel-Aviv is “looking into reports of the likely death” of a Filipino caregiver in Israel.

The Filipina was earlier reported missing in one of the attacked kibbutzim.

Israeli forces have found a dead body, Asian-built, and in “advanced state of decomposition.” 

The sister of the missing Filipina, who is also working as caregiver in Israel, will provide DNA samples to Israel forensics authorities.

The Embassy’s labor attaché and welfare attaché is assisting the sister in identifying the dead body.

Other developments:

  • One Filipina earlier reported missing has been found in a safe area.
  • The number of Filipinos missing has been reduced to 6. 
  • “Coordinating with Israeli authorities and local contacts, the Embassy is exhausting all available means to ascertain the condition of the still missing Filipinos,” the DFA said. 
  • The number of rescued Filipinos rose to 23—22 females, 1 male. Some were evacuated to hotels, and MWO-OWWA teams have been providing assistance to them
  • MWO-OWWA teams are also checking hospitals for possible admitted nationals.

“The Embassy is deeply grateful to the Israeli security forces risking their lives to rescue our kababayan caught in the combat areas, as well as to the Israeli emergency services and kibbutz authorities who included Filipino nationals in their evacuation operations,” the Department of Foreign Affairs said. 

Meanwhile, to 50 Filipinos and Palestinians living in Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip have asked the Philippine government for help to be extracted from the war zone.

Israel has been bombarding Gaza after Hamas militants launched massive air strikes on Israel Saturday, the deadliest since Yom Kippur. Gaza’s Health Ministry said 770 Palestinians in Gaza were killed, including 140 children and 120 women.

The nine families consisting of 38 Filipinos and 11 Palestinian spouses of Filipinos have sought repatriation to the Philippines.

Among the 38 Filipinos, 11 are children aged 2-15 years. They are considered Filipino citizens under jus sanguini principle of Philippine citizenship laws.

DFA Undersecretary Eduardo De Vega said the Philippine embassies in Tel-Aviv, Cairo and Amman are working on the repatriation of Filipinos from Gaza. 

Pending deployment  

The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) said there are now signs the deployment of Filipino hotel workers in Israel could resume soon as the situation in the country improves following the massive attack by militant Hamas forces during the weekend. 

But in the Gaza strip, which served as the staging point of Hamas in launching their devastating strikes in Israel, the situation continues to deteriorate due to Israeli interventions, prompting the government to consider institutionalizing the deployment restriction in the city. 

In a press briefing in Malacañang on Tuesday, DMW Officer-in-charge  Hans J. Cacdac said they have received reports the operation in the Ben Gurion International Airport in Israel may normalize shortly after being disrupted since last Saturday following the Hamas attacks.

“But what we’ve heard so far are press releases so we need to officially confirm,” Cacdac said. 

Aside from the airport, he said they are also waiting for the go-ahead from the Israeli authorities before they can continue sending Filipino hotel workers to Israel. 

“We are in close coordination with the Israeli PIBA [Population and Immigration Authority]—that’s the name of the government agency counterpart that we have and at a proper time deployment will resume especially for our G2G [government to government arrangement] hotel workers for Israel,” the DMW official said. 

DMW has an existing G2G arrangement with Israel for the deployment of Filipino hotel workers and caregivers.

Travel advisory 

Despite the improved conditions in Israel, the DFA issued a travel advisory discouraging any unnecessary travel to that country since it is currently at a state of war. 

 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared war against Hamas after its strikes in southern Israel killed over 1,200 people.  

DFA also disclosed it is now seeking to place the war-torn Gaza strip under Alert Level 3 or voluntary repatriation phase as Israeli forces continue its offensive in the Hamas-controlled city. With a report by Samuel P. Medenilla