Hundreds more approved to leave Gaza as aid trickles into besieged territory

Gaza border authority releases two more lists of foreign citizens approved for evacuation

Egyptian paramedics care for an injured Palestinian woman on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip. AFP
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The Gaza border authority on Tuesday published lists of more than 700 foreigners who would be allowed to leave the Palestinian enclave following the reopening of the Rafah border crossing into Egypt the previous day.

The evacuation of foreign passport holders and Gazans needing medical treatment in Egypt, which began last week, continued for a second day after being suspended at the weekend following an Israeli strike on what Gaza officials said was an ambulance bringing patients to the crossing.

One list released on Tuesday comprised about 600 foreigners from various countries including the US, the UK, Germany and France.

The other list contained 103 Egyptian citizens cleared for evacuation.

France's Foreign Ministry said two groups of French citizens had left Gaza on Monday and Tuesday, and that it had so far enabled the exit of more than 100 people.

They are among about 7,000 foreign passport holders who were trapped when Israel imposed a total blockade and began bombing Gaza in response to an attack on October 7 by the Hamas militant group that rules the territory. About 2,200 have been approved so far, according to daily lists published by the border authority on Facebook.

On Monday, 166 foreign citizens entered Egypt, an Egyptian guard at the crossing told The National.

An Egyptian Red Crescent officer said four Palestinians had been admitted to north Sinai hospitals on Tuesday, and 17 were admitted on Monday.

Foreigners and injured Gazans began crossing through Rafah on November 1 under an internationally brokered agreement.

The flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza, which began on October 21, has remained far below the levels that the UN and aid organisations say is needed. Fifty lorries carrying aid passed through on Monday and a similar number were expected to cross on Tuesday.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi stressed the need for a ceasefire and to increase aid deliveries during a meeting with CIA director William Burns in Cairo on Tuesday, a presidency spokesman said.

Ahmed Fahmy said the meeting reaffirmed Egypt’s strategic partnership with the US and “its pivotal role in maintaining security and stability in the Middle East”.

Updated: November 07, 2023, 4:41 PM