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Filipinos in Gaza Running Low on Supplies Amid Blockade – DFA

Filipinos fleeing Gaza

MANILA — The plight of over 100 Filipinos trapped in the Gaza Strip continues as the besieged region grapples with shortages of food and electricity due to Israel’s blockade. According to officials from the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs, supplies are dwindling for dozens waiting to flee the violence as the Israeli offensive against Hamas enters its third week.

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Eduardo Jose de Vega told local media on Tuesday that conversations are ongoing between Egypt and Israel to allow the safe passage of foreigners out of Gaza. But for now, the Rafah border crossing into Egypt and Kerem Shalom crossing into Israel—Gaza’s only links to the outside world—remain sealed.

De Vega said one Filipino national has resorted to eating expired bread, underscoring the dire conditions. Officials have no way of directly assisting those in Gaza, as travel in and out is restricted. The undersecretary called on remaining Filipinos to relocate from northern areas to spots nearer the Rafah border in hopes that evacuations may commence “any day now.”

The names of the 135 registered Filipinos have been shared with Egyptian authorities for potential evacuations through Rafah if it reopens. But with violence showing no signs of abating and Gaza’s entry points stay shut, their wait drags on without an end in sight. Elsewhere, the fate of three Filipinos reported missing in Israel since the start of fighting also remains unclear.

As the blockade chokes Gaza and bombardment continues, Manila monitors its citizens with rising urgency. But for now, all they can do is appeal to Israel and Egypt to open avenues of escape—and pray no more Filipino lives are lost in this ongoing conflict.