According to the foreign ministry, Egypt has committed to facilitating the evacuation of “about 7,000” foreigners and dual nationals from the embattled Gaza Strip, with approximately 400 individuals projected to make the crossing on Thursday.
After a prolonged period of deadly conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants, the Rafah border crossing was unlocked on Wednesday, allowing people to leave Gaza for the first time.
In a discussion with foreign diplomats, Assistant Foreign Minister Ismail Khairat indicated that Egypt was arranging “to assist in the reception and evacuation of foreign citizens from Gaza through the Rafah crossing,” as per an official statement from the ministry.
Khairat stated that the initiative would include “around 7,000” individuals from “over 60” nationalities, although the statement did not include any specific details or a timeline.
Hundreds were expected to cross on Thursday.
‘Four hundred people holding foreign passports are expected to cross today in addition to 60 wounded,’ an Egyptian official at the crossing told AFP, indicating the figures could fluctuate during the day.
Hisham Adwan, the director of the Rafah crossing in Gaza, mentioned that approximately 100 wounded individuals and 400 foreigners and dual nationals, including US citizens, were projected to cross during the course of the day.
It was reported by the Egyptian official that the number of foreigners and dual nationals entering Egypt on Wednesday totaled 361, showing a slight increase from the previous day’s count of 335.
The official clarified the count of wounded individuals transported to Egypt for treatment, elaborating that the initially reported figure of 76 evacuated wounded Palestinians comprised 46 patients and 30 accompanying individuals.
According to their governments, the individuals who crossed on Wednesday included 31 Austrians, four Italians, five French nationals, and several Germans.
State Department spokesman Matthew Miller acknowledged the presence of US citizens who had crossed from Gaza but opted not to disclose the number.
As reported by the health ministry controlled by Hamas, the intense Israeli airstrikes have resulted in the deaths of nearly 8,800 people in Gaza, with two-thirds of the victims being women and children.
The conflict erupted following the October 7 attacks, which Israeli authorities claim resulted in the deaths of 1,400 individuals.