THE Israel Embassy in Manila confirmed that Israel has agreed to allow the Palestinian spouses of Filipinos in Gaza to leave Gaza Strip.
Israeli Ambassador Ilan Fluss said his Ministry of Foreign Affairs had informed him of this apparent softening of their opposition for Palestinians to join their Filipino families in exiting Gaza.
Of the 137 Filipinos in Gaza, only 42 have decided to leave the enclave despite the airstrikes and ground offensive inflicted by Israeli Defense Forces on Hamas “terror” lairs.
Many of the Filipinos had second thoughts about leaving behind their Palestinian spouses.
The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs had earlier said they could not make representations on behalf of the Palestinians.
Ambassador Fluss said Tel Aviv may have a change of heart, realizing the need for family “reunification” and considering the safety and welfare of Filipinos are of “high importance.”
“But we need to have a list of the Palestinian spouses and we’ll see if our security people will clear them,” Fluss told CNN Philippines.
DFA Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega said a Palestinian woman was able to join her Filipino-Palestinian husband on Tuesday when the Rafah border crossing reopened for foreigners.
“The Palestinian wife just took her chances and the Islamic Red Cross vouched for her so she was able to join the Philippine group,” de Vega told The Source of CNN Philippines.
A total of 40 Filipinos finally got clearance from the Egyptian side of the Rafah border and were picked up by the Philippine Embassy personnel Tuesday 1030pm local time (Wednesday 4:30am Philippine time). Six Filipinos who were initially in the list of approved foreigners allowed to exit Gaza Strip decided to stay and perhaps join in the next batch.