Hundreds of foreign passport holders, including a number of Americans and some wounded Palestinians trapped in Gaza, began to leave.And on Wednesday, the Rafah border crossing with Egypt was opened to them for the first time since the crisis
In Washington, US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller confirmed that some American citizens had left Gaza, but did not provide a specific number.
Miller told reporters on Wednesday afternoon, “There are a number of American citizens who crossed the Rafah crossing and are in Egypt today.”
At least five NGO employees, confirmed to be American, were on a list released by the Hamas-controlled Interior Ministry in Gaza, where crossing was approved on Wednesday, but it remains to be seen how many US citizens it says will be. State Department They are among at least 400 US citizens. Those stranded in Gaza will be able to cross in the coming days.
In Minnesota, President Biden said more people will be able to leave Gaza in the coming days.
Biden said in an event about his economic agenda: “We are working non-stop to get the Americans out of Gaza as quickly and as safely as possible.”
Susan Bseiso, a Utah resident who is besieged in Gaza, told CBS News on Wednesday that the State Department sent guidance saying the US government “has credible information that limited departures from Gaza may begin this week.” US citizens and their family members will have specific departure times to ensure orderly transit.”
Before Bseiso listened to the State Department, she expressed her frustration about her situation.
“They started letting foreigners out today, but they are not Americans because I think we are not as important as we thought,” Bseiso told CBS News. “It’s as if they are holding us hostage – and it’s not Hamas that’s holding us hostage, it’s IDF soldiers, Egypt and America. They are using us as a human shield in a way.”
Miller, the State Department spokesman, said the situation in Gaza “remains very fluid.” Miller said that departure instructions will be sent via email to Americans and their family members who wish to leave Gaza within the next three days.
Video footage showed the opening of the crossing gate on the Palestinian side of the border on Wednesday morning as people began crossing into Egypt for the first time since then.seem. In the past, much-needed aid convoys have passed through But no one has been allowed to cross through the Rafah crossing yet.
Reuters reported on Wednesday that at least 320 foreign passport holders crossed the border into Egypt from Gaza. About 545 foreigners and dual nationals, along with dozens of sick and wounded, are expected to leave throughout the day.
Diplomatic sources confirmed to CBS News that Qatar brokered an agreement between Egypt, Israel and Hamas, in coordination with the United States, to allow limited evacuations from Gaza.
After being allowed into the station area, huge queues of those waiting to depart formed around the transit kiosks to check passports and other documents.
An Egyptian official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the first ambulances carrying wounded Palestinians from the Gaza Strip entered Egypt through the Rafah crossing on Wednesday.
CBS News producer Marwan al-Ghoul reported earlier on Tuesday that among those crossing there will be at least 81 people who the Egyptian government will allow to travel in ambulances from Rafah to Arish to receive medical treatment.
The area surrounding the Rafah border crossing was bombed during Israeli air strikes after Hamas attacks, which Israeli authorities say left 1,400 people dead, most of them civilians. Another 240 people were taken hostage.
Some of those being transferred for treatment in Egyptian hospitals are among what the Hamas-controlled Gaza Ministry of Health says are more than 15,000 wounded in retaliatory Israeli raids, which the ministry says killed more than 8,500 people, two-thirds of them women and children.
Meanwhile, major Palestinian telecommunications company Paltel said Gaza experienced another internet outage on Wednesday, and service was gradually restored.
Communications in Gaza were cut off for 48 hours when Israel announced the expansion of its ground operations last week. Paltel said communications were restored on Monday before the latest power outage.
“Lifelong food lover. Avid beeraholic. Zombie fanatic. Passionate travel practitioner.”