The most dangerous journey of an Egyptian citizen to the border from Gaza, according to a text message by Ehuddin Al Husseini
While people waited at the crossing to be evacuated from Gaza, an airstrike rattled the crowd, causing a piece of metal to fall on the ground.
Al Husseini, a Austrian citizen who left Egypt on Wednesday, wrote in a text message that the journey to the crossing was the most dangerous he had ever taken.
He spoke with a person who lives in Cairo who stated that he couldn’t find a taxi or a person who would drive him to the border because of a fuel shortage in Gaza. The driver and he were terrified as they drove from central Gaza to the outskirts of the enclave.
Mr. Al Husseini said that he was worried that being near the location that Israel considers a Hamas target could lead to his death. He said that you could be in trouble at any time. “I was scared to death.”
An Egyptian passport search for foreign nationals or dual nationals allowed to leave the United States and its neighboring countries – and the families of Abu Middain
A new list of passport holders approved to depart — all of them foreign citizens or dual national Palestinians — was issued by the border authority overnight. Around 400 Americans were included. It wasn’t clear how many would be able to cross.
The number of people transiting into Egypt was consistent with the day before, with 361 foreign nationals entering and 45 seriously injured Palestinians going to Egyptian hospitals.
Photos from Gaza on Thursday showed scores of people waiting at the crossing, and Egyptian television showed people pushing luggage carts on the other side of the checkpoint.
He said the scene at the border was chaotic. Officers were processing names manually, he said, and people who were not among the few hundred people being allowed out were among the crowds, some trying to leave.
The family members of those who could leave were sometimes barred from leaving because they didn’t have the necessary documents, forcing them into difficult decisions.
On Thursday Adala Abu Middain, a Palestinian with Egyptian citizenship, was at the crossing with her sister, Dalal and Maha, both of whom have American citizenship. She said when they arrived at the crossing they were told the niece couldn’t leave.
The State Department has been in contact with around 400 Americans who have expressed a desire to leave, department spokesperson Matthew Miller said Wednesday. Miller said the total number was around 1,000 with their family members.
The Rafah Crossing: A Refugee Crisis for Humanitarian Evacuees in the Deadly Collapse of a Hamas-Inspired State
He is hoping they will all eventually be able to get out. “The situation is beyond catastrophic and beyond even imagination,” he said. “The death, bombing, bloodshed.”
Lena Beseiso, 57, an American who had come to the crossing repeatedly only to find it closed, was finally traveling through it on Thursday with her family. But her feelings were bittersweet.
Some of the would-be evacuees repeatedly went to the Rafah crossing over the last three weeks after hearing it might open, only to find the gate shut. Rumors and confusion abounded as news spread that the crossing was open this week, prompting many people to head there even though they were not yet scheduled to depart. Some people on the list to leave may not have heard about it because of the lack of internet and spotty phone connections.
Several evacuees in interviews with the New York Times said it wasn’t easy to reach safety, even if you show up at the border with a foreign passport.
The official said that allowing the wounded to leave Gaza was unacceptable to officials in the US and Israel. The official said that the delays were continuing because Hamas kept showing lists that included its members.
“It’s very difficult, but she should go,” Ms. Salah said in a phone call from the city of Khan Younis, in southern Gaza, holding back tears. To be safe.
Because of this, many of Israel’s allies, including President Biden, have called for a humanitarian pause to see the needs of civilians. First priority should be restoring access to food and safe drinking water, and then delivering medical supplies and other essential aid. If aid is diverted to Hamas, it will be worth trying to get it to civilians who need it the most.
On Wednesday, President Biden showed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel had agreed to pause shelling for a short time in order to allow for the release of two Americans.
The White House said Thursday that Secretary of State Antony J. blinken would push the Israeli government for a series of brief truces in Gaza to allow for hostages to be released and for humanitarian aid to be distributed.
Humanitarian groups have called for an urgent crisis to be met for civilians in Gaza, where food, water, medicine and fuel are in short supply. Even though an Israeli official said that a top Hamas leader was killed in a strike in Gaza this week, dozens of people died in the refugee camp.
He said that they needed to take a break after giving a speech. The White House later clarified that a brief cessation of military operations could give time to get hostages out of Hamas.
While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has so far resisted them, those calls have grown louder and more insistent after Israel’s recent bombardment of the Jabaliya neighborhood in Gaza, which Israel said targeted Hamas militants located there. UNICEF, a children’s aid organization, described the damage as “horrific and appalling,” and it said in a statement that the attacks follow weeks of bombardment “that have reportedly resulted in more than 3,500 children killed.”
Officials have said negotiations are continuing for the release of additional hostages, with representatives of Qatar serving as mediators. If those negotiations succeed, officials said they would urge Israel to agree to stop its operations in the area where Hamas is set to release the hostages.
U.S. officials said they were also concerned about the delivery of humanitarian aid, which is beginning to trickle into Gaza on trucks that are entering through the Rafah gate at the border between Gaza and Egypt.
The ground campaign inside Gaza has intensified with Israel’s airstrikes still going on. The Israel Defense forces reported multiple skirmishes with Hamas fighters as Israeli troops entered the Gaza Strip.
For any such measure to be effective, both sides in this conflict must abide by it. Hamas would have to agree, through its interlocutors, to stop launching rockets at Israel. Arab countries in the region should also put pressure on Hamas to release all of its hostages, which include many women and children.
People around the world, including in the United States, who have justified the attacks by Hamas would do well to understand exactly what this group continues to stand for.
That is not Hezbollah’s plan, the group’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, said in a widely anticipated address to his followers on Friday, his first public remarks since the start of the war.
Since the war began, Hezbollah and Israel have clashed at least several times along the Israel-Lebanon border. Mr. Nasrallah’s address, which lasted more than an hour and repeatedly erupted into fiery crescendos, was far from a call for peace.
The Hezbollah leader said that a large part of the forces in Gaza had been lessened by the Lebanese front. Some in Lebanon think we are taking a risk. This risk is a part of a correct calculation.
That message was most likely a disappointment to Hamas, a Hezbollah ally that is also supported by Iran, some of whose leaders have called on their regional partners to do more in the fight against Israel. The United States and Israel consider terrorist organizations.
He warned that Hezbollah would be ready should there be hostilities with Israel. He said all the possibilities are open for Lebanon. There are all the options we could use at any time.
One of the most tense periods in the Middle East in recent years, as well as a small measure of relief for many, was provided by the speech given by leader of Hezbollah, Mr. Nasrallah.
Nasrallah spoke for the first time since the war between Israel and Hamas began. The leader of the Iran-backed group stopped short of announcing an all-out war with Israel, but threatened that the group’s actions will depend on developments in Gaza.
During his address, which was live-streamed to large gatherings of Hezbollah supporters around Lebanon, Mr. Nasrallah lashed out at the United States for its staunch support for Israel, accusing President Biden of dishonesty in telling Israel that it had the right to defend itself but that it had to respect human rights.
He also said that the group was not frightened by the two aircraft carriers that the US had sent to the eastern Mediterranean.
“Your fleets in the Mediterranean do not scare us and will never scare us,” Mr. Nasrallah said. We are prepared to deal with your fleets as well.
Hezbollah could retaliate for a direct US intervention in the war if attacks were made against its military bases in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere.
The U.S. military has said that the carriers were sent to prevent a wider war but that fear has grown amid mounting anger in Arab countries over the crisis facing Gazans and the death toll in the strip. The dire conditions in Gaza have led to increased international criticism, but Israel has so far resisted calls for either a cease-fire or humanitarian pause.
Mr. Nasrallah praised the fighters from his and other armed groups in Lebanon, saying they were launching daily attacks on Israeli military positions and destroying communications infrastructure. The attacks forced the Israeli people to flee and forced Israeli military resources to the north in order to stay out of the way of attacks on Gaza.
Thousands of Hezbollah supporters gathered to watch the speech on giant screens. The largest site in southern Lebanon was decorated with Palestinian and Hezbollah flags. Supporters chanted, “We are here for Nasrallah,” as gunfire rang out when he appeared.
He said that Israeli treatment of the Palestinians had gotten so bad that a “great event” had been required to restore the Palestinian cause as “the No. 1 issue in the world.”
A UN Special Report on the Oct. 7 Attack in the Gaza Strip: Israel’s Duty to Protect itself and its Role in the Middle East
After Nasrallah finished speaking, Sbeti fired a volley of celebratory gunshots into the air with a pistol. He said he would answer any call by Hezbollah to fight Israel.
A driver who had grown poorer during Lebanon’s deep economic crisis in recent years, Mr. Sbeti was not overly worried about the vast damage that Israel could do to Lebanon in a new war.
“We stand strongly for the proposition that Israel has not only the right but the obligation to defend itself and to do everything possible to make sure that this Oct. 7 can never happen again,” Blinken said Friday.
On his fourth and most recent visit to Israel, Blinken met with Israel’s war cabinet in Tel Aviv.
“We provided Israel advice that only the best of friends can offer on how to minimize civilian deaths while still achieving its objectives of finding and finishing Hamas terrorists and their infrastructure of violence,” Blinken said.
Blinken was set to make other visits elsewhere in the Middle East as the leader of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, threatened an escalation of skirmishes with Israel along the border between the two countries.
The Palestinian health officials have said that 9,200 people have died in the Gaza Strip. Two-thirds of those victims are children and women, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza.
A focus of discussions on Friday was to emphasize that the US wanted a “humanitarian pause” which would allow aid to enter Gaza and for hostages to be released.
Despite mounting international criticism on Israel’s response to the Oct. 7 attacks, Herzog sought to defend the country, claiming Israel has followed international law in its reaction.
Herzog said Gaza citizens are receiving millions of leaflets, text messages and phone calls to alert them in advance of airstrikes and to warn them to leave the area he claimed in accordance with international law.
“We understand the need for her immediate release, we want her to be released, and we are hearing from the families that they are distressed,” he said.
The Palestinians in the Gaza Strip: “It’s not Hamas,” said a senior official at the Kneel Center in Cairo
Eventually, the official said, the parties settled on a list of wounded Palestinians who were not Hamas fighters. The official said that the Palestinians who left were captured in the middle of the fighting.
The negotiations with Hamas for the release of Americans and other foreign nationals was aided by representatives of the government of Qatar, according to Biden administration officials.
The official who spoke to reporters on Friday said that Hamas eventually relented in its demands for the passage of its fighters. The prospect of Hamas fighters leaving Gaza was especially troubling for Egypt, which remains concerned about the possibility of terrorists flowing into its country.