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Gaza: First foreigners and dual nationals cross the Rafah terminal into Egypt

Palestinian ambulances with people wounded in the Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip arrive at the border crossing with Egypt on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023   -  
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Hatem Ali/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.

The Gaza Strip

Dozens of foreigners and people with dual nationality left the Gaza Strip for Egypt on Wednesday via the Rafah border terminal, which was opened to people for the first time on the 26th day of the war between Israel and Hamas, according to an AFP journalist on the scene.

They were allowed to enter the terminal at around 07:45 GMT after the Egyptian authorities announced that it had opened exceptionally to allow the passage of nearly 90 wounded Palestinians and around 545 dual nationals and foreigners.

According to an initial announcement on Tuesday evening, the terminal was to allow only the wounded to pass through, but Egyptian and Palestinian officials at the terminal said on Wednesday morning that around 545 nationals and foreigners would also be allowed to leave the Gaza Strip.

A list with their names, nationalities and passport numbers was published by the administration of the Palestinian side of the terminal.

According to a Palestinian official at the terminal, a total of 88 injured people, including 40 children, women and elderly people, were due to leave via Rafah for treatment in Egyptian hospitals.

"The children and some of the elderly will have escorts with them", said the official.

Ashraf al-Qudra, spokesman for the Ministry of Health in the Hamas government in Gaza, told AFP that his department had submitted to Egypt a list of 4,000 wounded requiring treatment that could not be provided in the Gaza Strip.

"We hope they will be able to leave in the next few days because they need surgery that cannot be performed in Gaza. Their lives must be saved", he said.