First Foreigners Start Leaving Gaza Strip For Egypt As War Intensifies

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Topline

Foreign passport holders began leaving nan Gaza Strip done its confederate separator pinch Egypt connected Wednesday, aft weeks of aggravated negotiations to let nan exit of overseas nationals stuck wrong nan Palestinian enclave amid Israel’s crushed violative successful its warfare against Hamas.

Foreign passport holders transverse to nan Egyptian broadside of nan separator crossing pinch nan Gaza Strip successful ... [+] Rafah.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All authorities reserved.

Key Facts

According to nan AFP, “scores” of foreigners began leaving nan war-torn territory and entered Egypt done nan Rafah separator crossing—the only crossing retired of Gaza not controlled by Israel—for nan first clip since nan Israel-Hamas warfare collapsed retired past month.

This follows a woody brokered by nan Qatari authorities betwixt Israel, Egypt and Hamas, to let overseas passport holders and gravely injured civilians to transverse into Egypt, Reuters reported, citing an unnamed source.

Gaza’s separator authority has reportedly published nan database of names of astir 500 overseas passport holders who will beryllium allowed to exit Gaza, according to nan New York Times—although it is unclear if this covers each overseas nationals attempting to time off nan territory.

The database of group reportedly includes citizens from Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, nan Czech Republic, Finland, Indonesia, Japan and Jordan—including staffers of overseas assistance bodies for illustration Doctors Without Borders, nan Red Cross and nan UN Relief Agency For Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA).

Citing Egyptian tv news outlets, AFP reported ambulances are expected to participate Gaza and extract “81 earnestly wounded Palestinians” who will beryllium transported to Egyptian hospitals.

Earlier efforts to let overseas nationals to time off Gaza had grounded owed to disagreements betwixt Israel, Egypt and Hamas.

What We Don’t Know

The nonstop specifications of nan purported woody brokered by Qatar are unknown, including nan agreed-upon timeline for this exit of foreigners from Gaza and nan number that will beryllium allowed to leave. The constricted quality of nan removal follows Egypt’s refusal to judge Palestinian civilians arsenic refugees connected its territory.

What To Watch For

Citing a Telegram video shared by Hamas’ subject wing, Reuters reported that nan group is readying to merchandise immoderate overseas hostages successful its custody. Late past month, Israeli officials said Hamas was holding around 220 hostages—both foreigners and Israelis—although that number is apt to beryllium somewhat little now pursuing nan release of a fewer hostages.

Tangent

Earlier this week, nan Financial Times reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had lobbied nan EU to unit Egypt to judge refugees from Gaza connected its territory. The idea, however, grounded to find traction successful Brussels complete Cairo’s beardown guidance to specified a move. Egyptian anger was further fueled aft reports emerged astir an Israeli intelligence “concept paper” proposing nan transportation of 2.3 cardinal Gazans into Egypt’s Sinai peninsula.

Crucial Quote

In a statement issued connected X connected Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he said pinch Israeli President Isaac Herzog connected nan “efforts to safeguard U.S. citizens; bring hostages home; urgently summation nan gait and measurement of humanitarian assistance that is entering Gaza for distribution to Palestinian civilians; and forestall nan conflict from spreading.” Washington has been urging Israel to let nan expanded travel of assistance into Gaza and alteration nan extraction of overseas nationals trapped successful nan territory.


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