Valenzuela City Congressman Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian urged the Department of Foreign Affairs or DFA to participate in efforts of the international community to find a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which endangers the lives of thousands of Filipinos in Israel and Gaza.
The Philippines has “amassed invaluable insights and expertise” on conflict resolution following the Bangsamoro peace process, making the country a “valuable partner in facilitating an agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians,” said Gatchalian in his House Resolution 1341 filed last Tuesday.
“Now therefore, be it resolved, as it is hereby resolved by the House of Representatives, expressing the sense of the House supporting international efforts to negotiate an immediate end to the hostilities in Gaza in order to prevent further deaths of innocent civilians and to protect the human security and rights of those residing in Israel and Gaza, including Filipino nationals residing in those areas, and to call on the Department of Foreign Affairs to actively engage in discussions and activities of the international community aimed at facilitating a just and lasting solution that will finally bring a peaceful end to the enduring Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” stated in the resolution.
The Philippines has a “special relationship” with Israel as it is the only Asian country to support United Nations Resolution 181, which mandated the creation of the state of Israel.
The country has also supported Palestinian’s right to self-determination, the resolution also showed.
According to the DFA, there are 36,400 Filipino workers in Israel and 109 in Gaza as of last month.
The agency has previously raised alert level 3 (voluntary repatriation) in the Gaza Strip, which mandates concerned Philippine embassies to assist Filipinos who wish to leave the area.
In a recent general assembly, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon moved for concerned parties to return to the negotiating table to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying:
“The senseless cycle of suffering in Gaza and the West Bank, as well as in Israel, must end. Do we have to continue like this: build, destroy, and build, and destroy? We will build again, but this must be the last time to rebuild. This must stop now. They must go back to the negotiating table.”
Over 1,800 Palestinians and three civilians and 64 soldiers in Israel have been killed, according to the UN official. (Monica Cantilero)