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Gaza: Egypt to help evacuate "around 7,000 foreigners" via Rafah crossing

Gaza: Egypt to help evacuate "around 7,000 foreigners" via Rafah crossing
Identification of Palestinians and foreigners with dual nationality upon their arrival   -  
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Egypt will help evacuate "around 7,000" foreigners and dual nationals from the Gaza Strip, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday, the day after the first evacuations from the south of the Palestinian territory.

The Ministry of Health announced that 21 wounded Palestinians had been evacuated to Egyptian hospitals for treatment on Thursday, while "344 foreigners, including 72 children", had also crossed the Rafah border terminal.

At a meeting with foreign diplomats, Deputy Foreign Minister Ismail Khairat said that Egypt was preparing "to facilitate the reception and evacuation of foreign citizens from Gaza through the Rafah crossing", adding that there were "around 7,000" and representing "more than 60" nationalities.

The timetable and details of the Egyptian evacuation plan were not disclosed.

Ambulances carrying the wounded were arriving in dribs and drabs, while an Egyptian official at the Rafah crossing - the only one not controlled by Israel - told AFP that 60 wounded people and 400 holding foreign passports were expected to pass through on Thursday.

Hicham Adwan, director of the crossing on the Palestinian side, said that around 100 wounded and 400 foreigners and dual nationals were expected to cross the border on Thursday.

The previous day, 76 Palestinians in ambulances and over 300 foreigners and dual nationals were evacuated via the Rafah crossing, the first time this had happened since the start of the war.

According to the Egyptian official, the 76 Palestinians included 46 wounded and 30 people accompanying them. He also cited the figure of 361 foreigners and dual nationals evacuated on Wednesday, rather than 335 as previously reported.

Among the foreigners were around thirty Austrians, four Italians, five French, and a few Germans, whose number was not specified.

US President Joe Biden announced on Thursday that 74 dual nationals holding US passports had been evacuated from the Gaza Strip.

Since October 7, the Gaza Strip has been relentlessly shelled by Israel in response to an unprecedented attack by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas on Israeli soil.

The humanitarian situation there is described as catastrophic by the UN and the NGOs present.

The Hamas Ministry of Health announced on Thursday that 9,061 people, including 3,760 children, had been killed in the Gaza Strip since the start of the war on October 7.

In Israel, more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians, were killed on the days of the Hamas attack on Israeli soil on October 7, according to the authorities.

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