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8th batch of OFWs returning from Israel

MANILA, Philippines — The latest batch of overseas Filipino workers returning from war-torn Israel will arrive today.

The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) reported that the eighth batch included eight hotel workers and 24 caregivers with one infant.

“Including the latest group, there are already 256 OFWs and nine children who have returned to the country since the Israel-Hamas conflict erupted in early October,” the DMW said.

The 32 returnees will arrive onboard Etihad Airways EY 424 at 3:15 p.m.

DMW officer-in-charge Hans Cacdac previously reported that there are many OFWs who still want to stay despite the prevailing tension in Israel.

He said the government is extending financial and all other necessary assistance to returning OFWs as well as those who are still in Israel.

Meanwhile, Israel said that hospitals may become a legitimate military target after it accused Islamic group Hamas of extensively using hospitals for military purposes.

“According to the Rules of War, when Hamas utilizes civilian infrastructure for military use, it may become a legitimate military target. This is also true regarding medical institutions, given certain conditions,” the Israel embassy in Manila said yesterday.

The Hamas attack on Oct. 7 is an escalation of years of conflict between Israeli and Palestinian forces, with Israeli settler violence displacing hundreds of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since 2022 and tensions flaring around the Al-Aqsa Mosque, a flashpoint Jerusalem holy site.

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also claimed that Hamas is encouraging violent outbreaks in the West Bank. — Pia Lee-Brago