Filipinos in Israel told to stay away from Gaza, Lebanon

The Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv has warned Filipinos in Israel to be vigilant and stay away from the Golan Heights and areas near the Lebanon and Gaza borders, as tension escalates between Israelis and Palestinian militants.

The Embassy issues the warning after Israel launched an airstrike on “Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip.” The strike reportedly killed a top Palestinian militant commander and nine others, including a five-year-old kid, triggering a retaliatory rocket barrage.

“Remain alert and refrain from going to sensitive areas like Golan Heights, areas near the Lebanon border, and the Gaza border,” the Philippine Embassy said in its advisory.

Citing the Home Front Command, the Embassy also advised Filipinos in Israel that educational activities are prohibited in the Gaza Envelope and South Israel, and further urged them to take necessary precautions when riding public vehicles and refrain from going to crowded places as much as possible.

The United Nations said the continuing escalation in the region is “very dangerous” and urged concerned parties to immediately halt the rocket launch.

“The launching of rockets must cease immediately and I call on all sides to avoid further escalation,” Tor Wennesland, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, said Saturday.

The UN said the escalating tension is “leading to even greater humanitarian needs at a time when global resources are stretched and international financial support for a renewed humanitarian effort in Gaza will not be easily available.”