DFA condemns Gaza-Israel attacks

Posted at 12/28/08 2:50 PM

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) strongly condemned the attacks and counterattacks between Gaza and Southern Israel.

DFA spokesperson Claro Cristobal said Sunday that such attacks have already resulted in much damage, suffering, and casualties, particularly among civilians.

"The Philippines is deeply concerned about the worsening situation in Gaza and Southern Israel, and deplores the continuing violence, rocket attacks, and excessive use of force," Cristobal said in a text message.

Israel launched air strikes on Gaza for a second successive day on Sunday, piling pressure on Hamas after 229 people were killed in one of the bloodiest 24 hours for Palestinians in 60 years of conflict with the Jewish state. More than 700 Palestinians were wounded in Saturday's attacks.

Israel said the operation was aimed at "terrorist infrastructure," and outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said it "may take time." Officials said Hamas leaders could be targeted.

Meanwhile, Cristobal urged all parties to "exercise restraint, cease immediately all acts of violence, and fully respect international law."

Citing Philippine ambassador to Israel Petronila Garcia, Cristobal said that there has been no reported casualty among the 21 Filipino families living in the Gaza strip. He added that the country's embassy in Israel is closely coordinating with the Filipino community in monitoring the situation in Gaza. With Reuters