Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Thursday (Israel time) met with Philippine Ambassador to Israel Junie Laylo and other foreign diplomats to tackle its current war with Hamas, which has already claimed the lives of thousands of civilians from both sides.
In a post on X, Herzog said he sat down with Laylo and envoys of Thailand, Tanzania, and Nepal, which are among the countries whose citizens were killed when Hamas launched a surprise attack on the Jewish state on Oct. 7.
“I share in their deep sorrow and asked [that] they convey to their people our deep pain and our concern for the hostages,” he said.
Herzog assured them that the Israeli government will do everything to also rescue the foreign hostages taken by the group.
Herzog held a meeting with the envoys as he learned that among those murdered and taken hostage by Hamas, were foreign workers who came to Israel as agricultural workers.
Some of the victims were also exchange students as well as workers providing care for the Israeli elderly and those with special needs, he said.
Two Filipinos were assumed to be taken hostage by Hamas while four were confirmed killed.
Thailand, meanwhile, reported that 20 of its citizens were killed while 14 were taken captive. Nepal said 10 of its nationals died.
“They are all victims of Hamas’ murderous terror campaign that does not distinguish between race or religion,” he added.
Herzog also said he was comforted to hear that many nationals of the mentioned countries in Israel, particularly those caring for the elderly and working in the fields and orchards, insisted on staying there.
The Israeli government, through its embassy in Manila, honored several overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who stayed with their elderly employers and risked their lives during Hamas’ attack.
Some of them survived, but some were also killed, including one of the four Filipinos who were confirmed dead during the assault.
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