Pinoys in Libya, Gaza ordered: Return to PH

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

MANILA -- Filipinos in Libya and Gaza Strip were ordered to return to the Philippines as the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) implemented its mandatory repatriation program due to the increasing security threats in the foreign countries.

The DFA raised Crisis Alert Level 4 in Libya and Gaza Strip over the weekend. Under level 4, no Filipino national will be allowed to travel to both countries.

“Alert Level 4 is being raised in Libya due to the extremely unstable political and security situation there,” the DFA said in a statement.

At least 13,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are residing in Libya.

The Libyan crisis has been growing over the previous months stemming from the continuous fighting between Libyan security forces and rival militias.

The DFA asked Filipinos to contact the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli for instructions regarding its mass evacuation.

On Saturday, the DFA also ordered 109 OFWs in Gaza Strip to return to the Philippines due to the ongoing conflict between Israeli forces and the Islamist Hamas movement in the Palestinian territory.

Gaza Strip
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators run as riot police fire tear gas, during a demonstration in Paris, Saturday, July 19, 2014. Police have clashed with thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters who defied a ban in Paris on marching to protest the Israeli offensive in Gaza. Some of the protesters threw stones and other objects at riot police, who responded with rounds of tear gas. (AP Photo)

"The Philippine Embassies in Cairo, Tel Aviv, and Amman are ready to repatriate Filipinos from Gaza in coordination with concerned authorities of Israel, Egypt, Jordan and the United Nations and other International Organizations operating in Gaza," the DFA said.

At the same time, it said that crisis alert level 2 or restriction phase was also raised in areas in Israel within 15 kilometers from the border of Gaza.

Crisis alert level 1 or precautionary phase remains raised in the West Bank and in the rest of Israel.

The DFA said it continues to closely monitor developments.

The Philippines calls for the cessation of hostilities to prevent further loss of innocent lives, it added. (HDT/Sunnex/With AP)

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