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Philippines ready to retreat overseas workers in Palestinian territory
30/12/2008 17:51

The Philippines is ready to retreat its overseas workers in the Palestinian territory as clashes with Israeli and Palestinian troops intensified in the Gaza Strip, local media reported today.

Press Secretary Jesus Dureza told local reporters that the repatriation of Filipinos affected in the armed conflict is part of the government's contingency plans that will be implemented "as required by the situation on the ground."

At least 31,000 Filipinos are working and living in Israel, with a hundred more in the Palestinian territory.

Dureza said the Philippine Embassy in Israel has the resources needed to implement the contingency plans.

Israel, on Saturday, launched an unprecedented intensive military operation on the Gaza Strip, focusing on hitting targets from the air and saying the operation would target Hamas movement and all its political and military arms.

Palestinians' death toll has risen to 345, and over 1,600 wounded in the on-going Israeli warplanes intensified air strikes yesterday evening.