Sole Filipino in Gaza appears safe – embassy

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

February 20, 2024, 5:21 pm

<p>Department of Foreign Affairs <em>(File photo)</em></p>

Department of Foreign Affairs (File photo)

MANILA – The remaining Filipino national in the besieged Gaza Strip, a 63-year-old nun, was reported safe amid the ongoing conflict between Israeli forces and the Hamas terrorists, the Philippine Embassy in Jordan said Tuesday.

The nun from the Missionaries of Charity Sisters of Saint Teresa is the last Filipino there after she decided to stay while the government extracted 14 nationals on Saturday.

“We received information that the church where the Filipino nun is staying in Gaza City is still standing and holding masses for the parishioners,” Philippine Ambassador to Jordan Wilfredo Santos said in a text message.

“Although we have not established contact with her -- the church's landline appears to have been disabled -- indications are that the Filipino nun is safe but has decided to remain in Gaza to complete her mission,” he added.

Santos earlier disclosed that the embassy has not spoken to the nun since early December when Israel increased its attacks on Gaza City.

The church was also reportedly hit by sniper fire.

The Philippine government has evacuated 136 Filipinos in Gaza since the war between Hamas and Israel began last year and the border crossing in Rafah first opened in November.

The last batch of Filipino repatriates is expected to arrive in the Philippines Wednesday, together with their two Palestinian relatives. (PNA)