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40 Filipinos exit Gaza via Rafah Crossing, now safe in Egypt

40 Filipinos exit Gaza via Rafah Crossing, now safe in Egypt

Forty Filipinos were able to exit Gaza via the Rafah Crossing and are now safe inside Egypt, according to Malacañang on Wednesday.

“Ikinagagalak kong ibalita na 40 sa ating mga kababayan ay ligtas at matagumpay na nakatawid ng Rafah crossing sa Egypt. Sila ngayon ay patungo sa Cairo, kung saan sila magmumula para makauwi nang tuluyan sa ating bansa sa susunod na mga araw,” President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said in a video message, according to the Presidential Communications Office.

(I am pleased to report that 40 of our countrymen are safe and successfully crossed Rafah crossing in Egypt. They are now on the way to Cairo, from where they will depart to go home to our country in the next few days.)

The group is accompanied by Philippine Embassy officials led by Ambassador Ezzedin H. Tago on the way to Cairo, according to a report by Raffy Tima on Unang Balita on Wednesday, citing a source.

They made a stopover in el-Arish in Egypt to eat, around 30 kilometers away from the Gaza border.

The Filipinos were aboard two buses. They came from six families.

Among the group are two pregnant women and 19 youths aged up to 27 years old.


Some of the 40 Filipinos who were able to exit Gaza via Rafah Crossing pose with officials and personnel of the Philippine Embassy in Egypt, after they safely crossed the border on Wednesday, November 8, 2023 (PH time). The Filipinos will be brought to Cairo from where they will take flights back home to the Philippines. Photo courtesy: DFA/OUMWA



It took more or less three hours on the Palestinian side before the Filipinos were allowed to exit Gaza.

After entering Rafah Crossing, the Filipinos had to wait for around 10 hours as Egyptian authorities processed their papers.

It could not yet be determined as of posting time what time the group will arrive in Cairo as there are many checkpoints on the way.

Marcos on Wednesday thanked the Department of Foreign Affairs and the embassies of Israel, Jordan and Egypt for enabling the Filipinos to exit Gaza safely.

Marcos said more Filipinos will be repatriated in the coming days.

The Philippines raised Alert Level 4 in Gaza City in mid-October, meaning evacuation for Filipinos became mandatory.

"We are committed to making every possible effort to bring our kababayans out of harm's way and reunite them with their families back home. We will continue to provide updates on the situation," Marcos earlier said.

Two Filipino doctors volunteering for the international organization Doctors Without Borders safely crossed the border from Gaza into Egypt earlier this month.

The Rafah Crossing to Egypt's Sinai peninsula is the only exit point from Gaza not controlled by Israel. Aid trucks travel into Gaza through Rafah Crossing.

War between Israel and Hamas based in Gaza erupted on October 7 after the Palestinian Islamist group crossed the border and entered south Israel, killing 1,400 and taking 240 hostages back to Gaza.

Israel retaliated and vowed to eliminate Hamas, pounding Gaza with air strikes and launching a ground offensive.

Health officials in Gaza said more than 10,000 Palestinians, around 40% of them children, have died since October 7 due to Israeli bombardment, Reuters reported. —KG, GMA Integrated News