Egypt, Israel, US discuss creation of safe passage to evacuate foreigners from Gaza: Axios

Ahram Online , Thursday 12 Oct 2023

Egypt, the US, and Israel are working to create a safe passage for the evacuation of foreign nationals from the Gaza Strip, read an Axios report on Thursday.

An armed security guard
An armed security guard, part of the US Secretary of State s convoy, sits inside a car in Tel Aviv on the outskirts of Tel Aviv, on October 12, 2023. AFP


Over 500 Americans and other foreign nationals, including UN personnel, NGO workers, and journalists, are trapped in Gaza due to the closure of border crossings with Israel and Egypt, the report added.

Israel and Egypt have tentatively agreed in principle to create a safe passage out of Gaza for American and foreign nationals, the report said, citing US and Israeli officials.

However, both sides emphasized that implementing this operation will be exceedingly complex, particularly as it necessitates some form of ceasefire.

Israel announced a “state of war” on Saturday and has been relentlessly striking Gaza after Hamas fighters launched Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, an unprecedented attack on Israeli cities via land, air, and sea.

In the meantime, Gaza's only power station has shut down after Israel cut off electricity supplies and goods, including medicines, food, fuel, and water.

Palestinian health officials say Israeli air strikes in Gaza killed 1,200 people. Some 1,200 Israelis died in the conflict.

On Thursday, Egypt called on the international community willing to provide humanitarian and relief assistance to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to channel their aid to El-Arish International Airport.

The Egyptian initiative directly responds to the ongoing and severe Israeli bombardment. It aims to alleviate the suffering endured by the people of Gaza, a statement by Egypt's Ministry of Foreign Affairs read.

On Tuesday, National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby affirmed the US support for the safe evacuation of civilians, stressing that they should not bear responsibility for the actions of Hamas.

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan noted that US President Joe Biden emphasized the importance of minimizing civilian casualties during a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Biden stressed that Israel should adhere to the rules of warfare in its actions in Gaza.

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