Egyptian border guards check the documents people leaving Gaza as dual national Palestinians and foreigners prepare to cross the Rafah border point with Egypt, in the southern Gaza Strip, on November 2, 2023. AFP
Egypt prepares to receive 7,000 foreign nationals from Gaza through Rafah crossing
Egypt's foreign ministry is preparing to facilitate the reception of over 7,000 foreign nationals from more than 60 countries from the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing, read a foreign ministry statement on Thursday.
Preparations include obtaining the necessary travel documents and logistical arrangements, ensuring that foreigners will enter Egyptian territory "within a specified timeframe," said Ismail Khairat, assistant foreign minister, during a meeting with foreign diplomats in Cairo.
Khairat informed foreign mission representatives about medical preparations, including the availability of ambulances and the equipping of hospitals to handle emergency medical cases.
These medical services are intended not only for foreign nationals, but also for Palestinians who have been injured as a result of the Israeli deadly air strikes on the Gaza Strip since 7 October.
An Egyptian official at the crossing said that while hundreds were expected to cross the border on Thursday, the numbers could fluctuate during the day.
“Four-hundred people with foreign passports are expected to cross today, in addition to 60 wounded,” the official told AFP.
On the Palestinian side, Hisham Adwan, the Rafah crossing Gaza director, said about 100 wounded people and 400 foreigners and dual nationals, including US citizens, were expected to cross during the day.
The Egyptian official said 361 passport-holders and more than 70 other critically wounded Palestinians desperate to escape Israel's bombardment, were able to exit Gaza through the Rafah crossing on Wednesday morning.
The Egyptian health ministry reported on Wednesday that Egyptian doctors at the Rafah crossing examined 117 foreign nationals, including 35 children who received vaccinations against polio, measles, and meningitis.
Furthermore, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) reported that there are still over 20,000 injured individuals trapped in the Gaza Strip.
The MSF also revealed that 22 of its international staff members in Gaza were among those who left the territory via the Rafah crossing.