Foreign passport holders start to leave Gaza through Rafah crossing for 1st time since start of war

People walk through a gate to enter the Rafah border crossing to Egypt in the southern Gaza Strip on November 1, 2023 (Mohammed ABED / AFP)
People walk through a gate to enter the Rafah border crossing to Egypt in the southern Gaza Strip on November 1, 2023 (Mohammed ABED / AFP)

Dozens of foreign passport holders trapped in Gaza are leaving the Strip as the Rafah crossing to Egypt opens for the first time since the devastating Hamas attack on October 7.

While convoys of desperately needed aid have passed between Egypt and Gaza, people have not been allowed to cross until now.

Some 400 foreigners and dual nationals are expected to leave Gaza today.

Ambulances wait on the Egyptian side of the border to transport the some 90 sick and wounded who are also being allowed to leave.

Several outlets have reported Egypt is building a field hospital along the border.

The agreement to open the crossing was mediated by Qatar between Egypt, Israel and the Hamas terror group, which controls Gaza, in coordination with the United States.

War erupted after Hamas’s October 7 massacre, which saw some 2,500 terrorists burst across the border into Israel from the Gaza Strip by land, air and sea, killing some 1,400 people and seizing 200-250 hostages of all ages under the cover of a deluge of thousands of rockets fired at Israeli towns and cities. The vast majority of those killed as gunmen seized border communities were civilians — including babies, children and the elderly. Entire families were executed in their homes, and over 260 were slaughtered at an outdoor festival, many amid horrific acts of brutality by the terrorists.

Israel says its Gaza offensive is aimed at destroying Hamas’s infrastructure, and has vowed to eliminate the entire terror group, which rules the Strip. It says it is targeting all areas where Hamas operates, while seeking to minimize civilian casualties

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