THE story of a Filipina nurse who died with her elderly ward after she refused to leave her even after Hamas militants attacked Israel has been posted on X (formerly Twitter) by some Israelis in a tribute to her courage in the face of death.
Identified as Angeline, the Filipina could have escaped but chose to stay by her patient who was called “Nira” on Kibbutz Kfar, according to the posts.
Israeli troops search the scene of a Palestinian militant attack in the Israeli kibbutz of Kfar Aza on the border with the Gaza Strip on October 11, 2023. Thousands have died and the toll continues to climb dramatically five days after Palestinian militants launched a surprise attack on Israel, which has responded with a massive bombardment of Gaza. GIL COHEN-MAGEN / AFP
Esty Buzgan, deputy chief of mission of the Israel Embassy in Manila, confirmed this without naming the Filipina in a virtual press conference on Thursday.
“One of them had the opportunity to run away but she decided to stay with the grandmother she was looking after,” Buzgan said.
Buzgan expressed her sympathy “to all the Filipinos who stayed behind, to those brave people who went with the elderly they were keeping at, the elderly they were taking care of.”
She said Hamas militants’ acts of terror were “beyond cruelty.”
“They were targeting people that got into safe rooms and [in] some safe rooms they were able to go inside and shoot them to death,” Buzgan said.
“And others where they couldn’t open the door they set the house on fire to get the people out to shoot them, to drag them and kidnap them to Gaza Strip.
She continued, “They didn’t even pay attention to who they were dragging. We had Israelis [abducted]. We had other citizens. We had people from Nepal, people from Thailand. We had Filipinos who were murdered.”
She said this was why Israel will not lift the blockade in Gaza to prevent Hamas “terrorists” from slipping into the Jewish state as Israel sought continued support from the Philippines.
“If we open [a humanitarian corridor and with] what’s happening currently we’re going to have more terrorists in Israel. We cannot allow that,” Buzgan said when asked whether Israel intends to lift the blockade to allow humanitarian aid to reach civilians in Gaza.
She said that this was “at the moment not an option on the table.”
“I’m very sorry that Hamas doesn’t take care of their people and doesn’t supply, and doesn’t build them infrastructure and they should do. Unfortunately, no,” she said.
Buzgan added, “We have to make sure we don’t have any more terrorists going into my country. So, no. We’re watching the border and we will not lift [the blockade]. We will not let this happen again.”
She reiterated Israel’s need for support and said she was “very, very thankful to the Philippines for all the support you’ve been showing. I know you’re a true friend and President [Ferdinand] Marcos [Jr.] said that yesterday in his meeting with the [Israeli] Ambassador [to Manila Ilan Fluss],” she said.
“We are very thankful for your friendship and your message. We see those amazing acts of solidarity of lighting buildings and markers..lit up in blue as an act of solidarity,” Buzgan said.