Two Filipino members of the Doctors Without Borders are among the first wave of evacuees expected to finally exit the besieged Gaza Strip soon, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed Wednesday.
The confirmation comes amid a Reuters report that Qatar has mediated a deal between Israel, Egypt and Hamas to allow the movement of foreign passport holders and critically injured people out of the coastal strip.
“The first to be allowed out would be members of international organizations. That includes the two Filipino doctors working with Doctors Without Borders,” DFA Undersecretary Eduardo Jose De Vega told the Philippine News Agency.
Asked if there is a timeline as of yet, the officials said: “Possibly today. Remember we are six hours advance time”.
Meanwhile, De Vega assured all Filipinos still waiting at the crossing that the Philippine Embassy in Cairo is in close coordination with Egypt to “prioritize Filipinos among nationalities to be first allowed exit”.
In an update around 7:30 p.m., De Vega said all 136 Filipinos living and working in the Gaza Strip are now accounted for.
De Vega early afternoon reported that the Philippine Embassy in Jordan lost contact with a family of 10 Filipinos since Friday.
“Telecommunications are back. So far, no injured,” he said in a text message.
Meanwhile, the number of Filipinos still in Gaza City is down to three after the six who originally returned to their residence in the city have traveled back to the Rafah crossing and are now “just waiting to cross when signal is given,” De Vega said.
The three remaining Filipinos are those who opted to stay despite the intensified Israel-Hamas offensive. One of them is a nun. (PNA)
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