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Philippines Lifts Travel Ban on Israel

The Philippines is to resume sending workers to Israel as the calm in the south continues.
First Publish: 12/16/2012, 2:00 AM

Filipino caretaker (illustrative)
Filipino caretaker (illustrative)
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Philippines is to resume sending workers to Israel as the situation returns to normal after last month's rocket attacks from Gaza and subsequent IDF operation, the AFP news agency reports.

"In view of improved security conditions in Israel and Gaza as a result of the ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas, the (foreign department) travel advisory... is now lifted," a ministry statement said.

Manila imposed a travel ban on Israel and Gaza last month and evacuated some Filipinos living in Gaza after the outbreak of violence between Israel and Hamas.

About 41,000 Filipinos work in Israel, many as caregivers, and the travel ban had raised fears that they would not be allowed to return if they left.

As fighting ceased the Israeli embassy in Manila urged the Philippines to lift the ban but the foreign department initially balked, saying the situation remained "volatile".

Roughly nine million Filipinos work around the world earning more than they could in their poverty-stricken home country. The money they send home is a major pillar of the economy, but they are often exposed to danger overseas.