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Second Filipino freed from Hamas captivity reunites with brother

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Embassy in Israel said on Thursday that Nora Babadilla is in “good health” and has been reunited with her brother at a hospital in Tel Aviv, Israel, two days after her release from captivity by Hamas militants.

Babadilla, also known as “Ate Nora,” was the second Filipino released by the militant group on November 28 (Philippine Standard Time), days after the first Filipino hostage was released.

The embassy said that she already underwent a full medical and psychological evaluation.

“She appears to be in good health, speaks and walks without difficulty, and was even seen assisting an elderly hostage as they left Gaza,” the Philippine Embassy in Israel said in a Facebook post. 

“Our hearts are full of gratitude and happiness to have Ate Nora back. We never gave up hope that we would find her and bring her home. The Embassy continues to be with Ate Nora as she begins a long healing process,” they added.

Babadilla was among the fourth group of hostages released by Hamas after a reported 53-day period of captivity

Her ordeal began when Hamas gunmen attacked Ate Nora and her Israeli partner, Gideon Babani, while they were visiting a friend in Kibbutz Nirim, which stands in the border of Israel and Gaza on October 7. 

She was taken captive by the militant group while her partner was killed.

The embassy then called on Hamas to release the remaining hostages they hold. 

“The Philippines continues to call for the release of all the hostaged noncombatant civilians who have no part in this conflict – especially women, children, elderly, the sick, and foreign workers,” the embassy said in a statement.

The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) on Wednesday has assured Babadilla of full support and assistance upon her arrival in the Philippines.

“The whole-of-government team tasked by the president shall welcome Noralin with open arms and provide her with all the necessary post-arrival support and assistance,” the DMW said in a statement.

On November 24, Hamas released Jimmy Pacheco, who was among the first group of hostages. The Malacañang said that he will return home in December. 

Around 1,200 individuals lost their lives during an