Cairo: Egypt has announced its intention to assist in the evacuation of "approximately 7,000" foreigners and dual nationals from the war-torn Gaza Strip, as stated by the country's foreign ministry in a Thursday announcement. After weeks of intense conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants that began with the Hamas attacks on October 7, the Rafah border crossing opened for the first time on Wednesday to allow individuals to exit Gaza.
During a meeting with foreign diplomats, Assistant Foreign Minister Ismail Khairat revealed that Egypt is in the process of "facilitating the reception and evacuation of foreign citizens from Gaza through the Rafah crossing."
Khairat specified that this operation would involve "about 7,000" individuals, representing "more than 60" nationalities. However, the statement did not provide specific details or a timeline for the Egyptian evacuation plan.
According to Egyptian officials, 76 injured Palestinians and 335 individuals with foreign passports crossed into Egypt on Wednesday. Among them were 31 Austrians, four Italians, five French nationals, and some Germans, as confirmed by their respective governments.
State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller noted that U.S. citizens also crossed from Gaza, though he did not disclose the exact number.
The Hamas-administered health ministry reported that the extensive Israeli bombardment in Gaza has resulted in the deaths of nearly 8,800 people, with two-thirds of the casualties being women and children. This wave of violence began following the October 7 attacks, which Israeli officials claim left 1,400 people dead.