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Israel donates P1M worth of medicine, equipment for Marawi evacuees  

The Israel Embassy has donated P1 million worth of basic equipment, medicines, and supplies for families displaced by the ongoing armed conflict in Marawi City.

The embassy turned over the donation to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) last Sunday, the same day Israel Minister for Welfare and Social Services Haim Katz offered Israel's assistance to the evacuees during athe celebration of Philippine Independence Day at the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv.

"We are all touched by the events in Marawi and the effect they brought to the people of Marawi," said Israel Ambassador Ephraim Ben Matityau.

"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed us to lend a hand of support to the affected people in Marawi and the surrounding areas."

The equipment includes emergency cart, suction machine, portable nebulizer machine, portable ECG machine, portable doppler, pulse oximeter, oxygen tank, basic medicine package, emergency medicines, and medical supplies.

Senator Richard Gordon, who chairs PRC, said the basic equipment, medicines, and supplies will benefit thousands of families in the evacuation centers.

"We are grateful for the outpouring support we received from our partners and donors as the Philippine Red Cross continues with its humanitarian efforts for our affected brothers and sisters in Marawi crisis," Gordon said.

In Tel Aviv, Katz thanked the Philippines for their "open-door" policy for Jews fleeing the Holocaust during World War II, and for being the "only country in Asia to support the United Nations Partition Plan in 1947 that paved the way for the establishment of the State of Israel."

Katz expressed optimism for the upcoming bilateral labor agreement that will improve the conditions of the 20,000 OFWs in Israel by ending the imposition of exorbitant pre-departure fees and protecting them from ending up as couriers of illegal drugs.

Philippine Ambassador to Israel Neal Imperial noted that the intelligence sharing, agricultural and defense cooperation, and tourism between the two countries "have never been as strong" as it is today.

He especially expressed appreciation for the number of Israeli tourists who came to the Philippines in 2016 and the agricultural studies program that allows Filipino students to learn farming techniques from Israel. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News