By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

(Logo courtesy of Philippine Embassy in Beirut)

MANILA – Filipinos still in Lebanon have been warned anew due to the new Israeli strikes reaching deeper into the country as the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah escalates.

In a security advisory released Wednesday, the Philippine Embassy in Beirut said the Israeli airstrikes in eastern Lebanon on March 26 was the “deepest raid” it conducted since the start of cross-border hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah in October.

“[W]e strongly advise all Filipino nationals in Lebanon to exercise caution and remain vigilant at all times,” it said.

“Furthermore, it is essential to avoid areas where there is ongoing violence or military activity, and to take necessary precautions to ensure your safety and well-being,” it added.

The Embassy said the Israeli army conducted airstrikes in the Baalbeck region, targeting a two-story residential building in Al-Osseira last March 23.

The following day, it carried out airstrikes in the western Bekaa region, which was the first of such attacks since October 2023. The strike targeted a car in Soueiri, resulting in the death of a Syrian driver.

On March 26, the Embassy said the Israeli army fired machine guns at residential neighborhoods in the village of Kfar Kila and the outskirts of Odaisseh, both located in the Marjayoun district.

Additionally, an Israeli drone targeted a house in Dhaira, Sour district, with a missile, although the explosive failed to detonate.

The Embassy said overnight Israeli airstrikes on the southern Lebanese town of Hebbarieh, situated in the Hasbaya district also killed seven young medical volunteers.

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Eduardo Jose de Vega earlier said Filipinos in Lebanon are “generally doing fine and going about their daily business”.

Most are located in the Beirut area and nearby environs but some are located in Tyre, Sidon, and Nabatiyeh Governorate.

Some Israeli attacks have previously hit areas near these large cities and the Nabatiyeh Governorate.

Lebanon is currently placed under Alert Level 3, which calls for Filipinos to voluntarily evacuate the country.

There are about 17,500 Filipino nationals in Lebanon based on the latest count of the Department of Foreign Affairs. (PNA)