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8 Pinoys cross border, opt to stay in Egypt

THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Philippine Embassy in Jordan said eight Filipinos and a Palestinian relative were able to safely cross the Rafah border from Gaza to Egypt yesterday morning.

DFA Undersecretary Eduardo Jose Eduardo de Vega said their exit was facilitated by the Philippine Embassy in Amman headed by Ambassador Wilfredo Santos.

“Yes, its correct,” De Vega said when asked to confirm the information.

This took place as Israel and Palestinian group Hamas resumed fighting after the collapse of talks to extend the temporary truce that paved the way for the safe release of Israeli hostages and the return of Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons.

The Jewish state has vowed to eliminate Hamas following its attack last October 7 that killed more than 1,200 Israelis.

Hamas fighters also took with them to Gaza more than 200 hostages, including foreign nationals such as Filipinos.

Four Filipinos have died in the war between Israel and Hamas.

Santos said the eight Filipinos, who belonged to a single family, already have exit clearances but decided to stay in Egypt with their Palestinian father.

The mother is already in Manila.

Santos said another Filipino has reached the Rafah border crossing but decided to remain in the Gaza side for now.

“Her Palestinian father was not permitted to exit the Palestinian side,” the envoy said.
With this development, the embassy said only 18 Filipinos remain in Gaza.

There were 137 Filipinos in Gaza at the start of the Israeli-Hamas war.

The embassy said they able to evacuate 119 after the border was reopened and foreigners and dual citizens trapped in Gaza were allowed to leave.