Abusive pushbacks of migrants ‘normalized’ in Greece: MSF

Abusive pushbacks of migrants ‘normalized’ in Greece: MSF
Abusive pushbacks of migrants ‘normalized’ in Greece: MSF

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - MANILA: Two Filipino doctors serving in Gaza have been evacuated through the Rafah crossing with Egypt, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday.

Doctors Darwin Dela Cruz and Regidor Esguerra from the international aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) were among 136 Filipinos and hundreds of other foreign nationals trapped in Gaza since Israel began its daily bombardment of the densely populated enclave.

Only on Wednesday, some 500 people with foreign passports were allowed to enter Egypt.

“So far, no other Filipino has been allowed to cross the border. But we are making diplomatic representations in this regard,” Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Eduardo De Vega told Arab News.

The doctors are now in Ariah, a city near the Rafah crossing, from where they will travel to Cairo and fly to their new deployment stations.

“They are presently in Egypt while awaiting their new assignments from the Doctors Without Borders. They are in touch with their families back home,” De Vega said.

The Philippine nationals in Gaza are mostly overseas workers and those who are married to Palestinians.

Philippine authorities have a list of those waiting for evacuation but do not know when it will be possible.

“Gaza remains under a total blockade, with the movement of people and goods severely curtailed,” the Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Thursday.

Israel has been limiting the passage of foreign nationals from Gaza and entry of necessary food and medical aid.

The number of people killed in Gaza has exceeded 8,700 since Oct. 7, when Israeli warplanes began their daily bombardment of residential buildings, schools and medical facilities in the densely populated enclave, in retaliation for an attack by the Gaza-based militant group Hamas.

Women and children make up nearly 70 percent of the dead, according to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, while tens of thousands of others have been injured. Hundreds of people remain missing, many under the rubble as rescue teams have not been able to reach them.

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