THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) thanked the governments of Qatar, Egypt, and Israel that resulted in the evacuation of 40 Filipinos and one Palestinian spouse from Gaza.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo said on X, formerly Twitter “very grateful that finally, an initial group of 40 Filipinos have safely exited Gaza and crossed to Egypt for eventual repatriation.”
“I thank our partners, especially the governments Israel and Egypt for their help, and commend the efforts of our embassies in Israel, Egypt, and Jordan,” he added.
The evacuation of the first batch of Filipinos who crossed the border was made possible through Philippine government-led facilitation with Israel and Egypt.
On Nov. 1, two Filipino members of Doctors Without Borders also left Gaza through the Rafah border crossing after Qatar brokered the limited evacuation of international aid workers and wounded Palestinians.
Manalo likewise conveyed to Qatar Ambassador to the Philippines Ahmed Saad Al-Homidi that the government values Doha’s role in the opening of the border crossing.
“We acknowledge and deeply appreciate Qatar’s crucial mediation efforts in the opening of the Rafah border crossing, allowing foreign nationals, including Filipinos, to exit Gaza,” he said.
“The Philippines and Qatar are united in our goal of a lasting peace in the region,” he added.
A total of 46 were earlier given permission to cross the border but only 40 decided to leave.
“The 40 are happy that the ordeal is over. They may be here as soon as Friday or Saturday,” DFA Undersecretary Eduardo Jose de Vega said.
According to de Vega, 95 Filipinos are left in the Gaza Strip, 19 of whom expressed to remain there.