President Marcos Expects Israel to Allow Filipinos in Gaza to Cross Rafah Border
In a recent press briefing, President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. expressed his hope that Israel would allow Filipinos in Gaza to cross the Rafah border on either Friday, Nov. 3 or Saturday, Nov. 4. Marcos stated that Israel had promised to prioritize the exit of Filipinos from Gaza to Egypt through the Rafah border crossing.
During the briefing held in Malacañan on Friday, Marcos acknowledged the concerns surrounding Filipino nationals in Gaza and Israel amidst the ongoing conflict. He stated, “We’ve heard the news that those who are in Gaza are not allowed to exit. And others are wondering why. Well, it is unfortunately completely out of our hands. We have no control over this.” Marcos emphasized that the situation now lies between Israelis and Palestinians.
Despite the challenges, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has continued to communicate with Israeli authorities, including the foreign minister and the President of Israel. Marcos shared that the Israeli authorities have promised to allow the exit of Filipinos by either Friday or Saturday, as communicated by the Secretary of the DFA.
There are currently 134 Filipinos in Gaza, with 115 of them awaiting permission from the Israeli government to cross the border and 19 still undecided. The DFA has explained that the process is taking time due to factors such as the limited number of foreign citizens allowed to cross the border each day and the need for permission from relevant authorities for Filipinos to cross through the Rafah border.
Amidst the challenges, two Filipino doctors successfully crossed the Rafah border on Nov. 2. They are among the few who have managed to exit Gaza, which is currently experiencing the devastating impact of the ongoing conflict.
The DFA has appealed to Israel to facilitate the swift exit of Filipinos from Gaza to ensure their safety. The situation remains urgent as Filipinos in the region await their opportunity to return home.