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regular-article-logo Saturday, 15 June 2024

Foreign passport holders seen entering Rafah crossing from Gaza to Egypt, first travellers to do so since war began

Early Wednesday, providers Paltel and Jawwal reported a 'complete disruption' of communications and internet services in Gaza, the second major cut in five days

AP/PTI Rafah (Gaza Strip) Published 01.11.23, 01:42 PM

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Dozens of people could be seen entering the Rafah crossing from Gaza to Egypt on Wednesday. It appeared to be the first time foreign passport holders have been allowed to leave the besieged territory since the start of the war.

The Palestinian crossing authority said more than 400 foreign passport holders would be permitted to leave Gaza on Wednesday.

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Hundreds have gathered at the crossing at different times in recent weeks, but have not been allowed out due to disagreements among Egypt, Israel and Hamas. No one has been allowed to leave Gaza, except for four hostages released by Hamas. Another captive was rescued by Israeli forces earlier this week.

Egyptian state-run media reported that more than 80 wounded Palestinians would be brought from Gaza to Egypt on Wednesday for medical treatment. Ambulances were seen entering the Rafah crossing from the Egyptian side, and a field hospital has been set up in the nearby town of Sheikh Zuweid.

Egypt has said it will not accept an influx of Palestinian refugees because of fears Israel will not allow them to return to Gaza after the war.

The Palestinian death toll in the Israel-Hamas war has reached 8,525, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza. In the occupied West Bank, more than 122 Palestinians have been killed in violence and Israeli raids.

More than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed, most of them civilians slain in the initial October 7 Hamas rampage that started the fighting. In addition, around 240 hostages were taken from Israel into Gaza by the militant group. One of the captives, a female Israeli soldier, was rescued in a special forces operation.

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