SOME Filipino workers in Israel are “volunteering” to work in farms amid an acute shortage of agricultural laborers following the October 7 Hamas attacks.
The Philippine Embassy in Tel-Aviv said it “appreciates” Filipino nationals who are “volunteering their time and labor” in support of the Israeli agricultural sector.
However, the Embassy warned OFWs against venturing into conflict zones or engaging in activities that may compromise their safety.
In an earlier interview, Israeli Ambassador to Manila Ilan Fluss said that since the October 7 attacks, many foreigners, especially Thais, working in agricultural sector have left Israel.
A total of 39 Thai agricultural workers in southern Israel were killed, while 32 were taken as hostage by the Hamas.
Also, the Israeli agricultural ministry also withdrew work permits of Palestinians working in Israel, many of them also in the agricultural industry. An estimated 30,000 to 40,000 agricultural workers left Israel since the Hamas attacks, and half are Palestinians.
Currently, many farms require laborers to harvest crops and milk cows. Many Israelis volunteer at the farms, and apparently Filipinos joined the activity.
“The Embassy supports all efforts that could help Israel’s agriculture sector get back on its feet and restore the vibrancy of its food supply. The Embassy regards this volunteer work as an admirable gesture, in keeping with the Filipino ‘bayanihan’ spirit, and a manifestation of the strong relations between the Philippines and Israel and the enduring friendship between the peoples of both countries,” the Embassy said in it’s Facebook post.
OFWs are also advised to “avoid any activity that could constitute a violation of their existing employment contracts, if any, or their visa conditions while in Israel,” the Embassy added.