China, Israel express solidarity with Philippines in wake of typhoon

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - Despite recent diplomatic incidents with Manila, the governments of China and Israel have expressed solidarity with the Philippines over death and destruction wrought by Typhoon Pablo.

In a statement, the Chinese Embassy announced a US$30,000 (1.2 million pesos) donation to the Philippines as it sent its sympathies to communities affected by the typhoon across the Visayas and Mindanao.

The donation from the Red Cross Society of China was provided to the Philippine National Red Cross.

"We were deeply saddened to learn of the destruction and damage caused by Typhoon Pablo. We'd like to express our heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the victims and the families that have suffered immense losses of lives and properties," said Zhang Hua, embassy spokesperson.

China extended help despite tensions with the Philippines over the West Philippine Sea, the Philippine-claimed part of the South China Sea to which China has been asserting ownership.

"We are confident that through the Philippine government's prompt rescue and relief work, the Filipinos will be able to overcome the tragedy and rebuild their homes soon," said Zhang.

The government of Israel also expressed its sympathies for the Philippines as it lauded government's disaster preparedness and response efforts.

"The government of Israel and its people express their solidarity with those affected by Typhoon Pablo, and we offer our condolences and sympathies to the families who have lost their loved one," said Israel Ambassador to the Philippines Menashe Bar-On in a statement.

The envoy made the statement more than a week since the Department of Foreign Affairs criticised his appeal to the Philippines to hold the deployment of new hires to Israel until the security situation stabilises following heavy fighting between Israeli forces and members of the Palestinian force Hamas.

"We commend the efforts of the different government agencies in minimising the loss of lives.

"We also hope that the families, especially the children, will overcome the physical and emotional damages brought upon them as they approach the holy day of Christmas and the New Year," said Bar-On.

The United States, Canada and Australia earlier announced their respective donations to typhoon victims.

US$1=40.96 pesos

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