• Pinoys in Israel still unaffected by conflict

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    Filipinos are still safe from escalating hostilities in Gaza Strip and its neighboring areas but the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday warned the expatriates to heed advisories of the Israeli government to stay away from the conflict.

    “We have not received reports of any Filipinos injured or killed as a result of the escalation of hostilities in the Gaza Strip and its surrounding regions,” Charles Jose, Foreign Affairs spokesman, said in a text message on Friday.

    The Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv issued an emergency advisory on July 8, Jose added, notifying the Filipinos there “to take precautionary measures, avoid crowded places which may be possible targets of attacks and to heed the safety advisories issued by local and national Israeli authorities.”

    There are some 36,000 Filipinos in Israel.

    Jose said the Filipinos in Israel can contact the Philippine Embassy’s emergency hotline number at 054-466-1188 “for concerns and emergencies.”

    “We will continue to closely monitor the security situation in Israel,” the official added.

    This week, Israel stepped up its offensives against the Hamas militant group that controls the Gaza Strip.

    Israel airstrikes have attacked 900 targets that caused the deaths of more than 85 Palestinians.

    The Hamas militant group, on the other hand, continues to strike against Israel with bombs reaching Tel Aviv and nearby areas.

    The Israel military said Hamas was launching rockets against Israel at least once every 10 minutes.

    In the last three days, the group was believed to have launched some 400 rockets from the Gaza Strip.

    Israel has not reported any casualties, although tensions remained high as it is widely believed that Israel will move for a possible ground invasion of Gaza Strip.

    The United States condemned the rockets launched against Israel and said it is willing to negotiate a deal between the two territories.

    Differences between Israel and Hamas have lingered, primarily because of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

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