ANOTHER FILIPINO died in the attacks by Hamas militants on Israel that started earlier this month, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Thursday, bringing the total to four.

“I regret to inform the nation that we have received confirmation from the Israeli government of another Filipino casualty in Israel,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique A Manalo said in a post on the X social media platform.

The government of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. would help the family of the victims, he said.

The victim, like the three other casualties, was a caregiver and one of the three Filipinos who went missing, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Jose Eduardo A. de Vega separately told a virtual news briefing.

He said the government was working on finding the two other missing Filipinos, noting that one of them is an Israeli passport holder and a naturalized citizen.

“The reason why some of them died was that they did not abandon their wards, which is something the Israelis have praised our countrymen for,” Mr. De Vega said.

No Filipinos were hurt during the recent bombing of a hospital in Gaza that killed hundreds of Palestinians, he added.

“We grieve for the hundreds of innocent lives lost in this tragic incident, noncombatants including medical practitioners, children, the wounded and displaced individuals who only sought shelter at the facility,” the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a separate statement, referring to the hospital bombing.

Hamas militants backed by a barrage of rockets stormed from the blockaded Gaza Strip into nearby Israeli towns, killing 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and seizing about 200 hostages in a surprise attack on Oct. 7.

Israel has since besieged the Palestinian enclave, launching wave after wave of air strikes, enforcing a blockade and deploying tens of thousands of troops to the border in preparation for an expected ground assault.

About 3,000 Gazans have died and 12,500 injured, according to the United Nations.

On Wednesday, DFA said at least 80 Filipinos in Gaza wanted to come home amid the worsening war between Israeli forces and Hamas militants.

Mr. De Vega said Egypt would likely allow foreign nationals to enter the country through the Rafah Border Crossing, but not Palestinians. Some Filipinos might decide to stay in Gaza if their Palestinian spouses could not cross with them, he added.

There were 131 Filipinos in Gaza, with only about half of them actually Filipino nationals and the rest being children with their Palestinian spouses.

The Philippine Foreign Affairs department on Sunday placed Gaza under Alert Level 4, forcing Filipinos to evacuate and come home amid the worsening war. Mr. De Vega said there was no repatriation call for Filipinos in Israel, which was still under Alert Level 2. 

On Wednesday, the first batch of 16 overseas Filipino workers, who were mostly caregivers in Israel, arrived in the Philippines, according to a video posted on the Department of Migrant Workers’ (DMW) Facebook page.

Seventeen OFWs were supposed to come home, but one Filipino could not board the flight because he was sick, DMW officer-in-charge Hans Leo J. Cacdac told a livestreamed briefing on Wednesday.

About a third of Filipinos in Israel live in Tel Aviv, according to Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) chief Arnell A. Ignacio.

A fifth live in the central district, 12% live in Israel’s third-largest city Haifa and 6.4% are from the northern district.

A tenth of the Filipinos live in the capital Jerusalem, while 5.3% live in the southern district, which is near Gaza.

Meanwhile, Basilan Rep. Mujiv S. Hataman said the Philippine government should seek an end to the Mideastern conflict.

“I call on my colleagues in the House of Representatives to join calls for an end to the violence,” said in a statement. “This august body can encourage governments including our own to take a strong position against the continued violence against innocent civilians caught in the crossfire of the conflict.”

Party-list Rep. Arlene D. Brosas opposed the Marcos government’s support for Israel.

“These relentless acts of violence perpetrated by the Israeli Defense Forces are clear violations of international humanitarian law and must also be condemned by the international community,” she said in a statement. — John Victor D. Ordoñez and Beatriz Marie D. Cruz