By Danny Buenafe, ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau Chief | 11/23/2012 2:24 PM
JERUSALEM - Palestinians took to the streets to celebrate the truce. Many Israelis did not show any sign nor manifested any reason to be excited.
But Filipinos in Israel believe the ceasefire is a temporary reprieve, at least until or beyond Christmas.
Shimon Weinbaum, Philippine Honorary Consul in Jerusalem, shared his excitement in a briefing before members of the Department of Foreign Affairs’ response team led by Assistant Secretary Petronila Garcia and Ambassador Gene Calonge.
Weinbaum thinks the truce will hold for the next three months, noting the key personalities behind the diplomatic move.
In just 8 days of military operations over Gaza, Weinbaum says Israel spent three billion shekels, or roughly $750-million.
He said the aborted ground offensive was a wise move, claiming many young Israeli soldiers would have died in a protracted underground battle.
Melona Apuhan has been a caregiver in Israel for the past eleven years. She takes care of a 76-year old Israeli woman in Ashkelon, one of the cities hit by air missile attacks from Hamas.
Melona and her ward were just too relieved upon hearing the news of a ceasefire.
Melona showed to ABS-CBN Middle East the bunker room she shared with her ward during the height of the bombings.
In Jerusalem, it was also back to normal.
Almost 6,000 Filipinos work in Jerusalem. One of them is Cris Lopez who has been in Jerusalem for 16 years and whose business is in the field of catering.
With wife and two kids, Lopez is just too worried the ceasefire may not hold for long and militants would engage in a more dangerous tact: suicide bomb attacks.
The DFA response team will visit the Erez border leading to Gaza which was just opened to motorists recently. With Arnold Eligado, ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau