published : 2023-10-17

International Efforts to Evacuate Foreign Nationals Blocked by Hamas in Gaza

Secretary of State Blinken says Hamas disruption hampers departure of foreign nationals; Egypt ready to assist

A photo of Secretary of State Antony Blinken during the interview, taken with a Canon EOS R5.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has pointed out that foreign nationals in Gaza are unable to leave due to the obstruction caused by Hamas.

In an interview with Al-Arabiya, Blinken acknowledged the efforts to evacuate civilians from Gaza and provide humanitarian aid.

Contrary to claims that Israel is blocking the departure of foreign nationals, Blinken clarified that the problem lies with Hamas.

Hamas has strategically positioned its leaders, command centers, and weapons in residential areas, using Palestinians as human shields.

Furthermore, Blinken revealed that Egypt is fully prepared to assist with the departure of citizens and foreign nationals from Gaza.

An aerial view of the Gaza Strip showing residential areas where Hamas has strategically positioned its leaders and weapons, taken with a DJI Mavic Air 2S.

Efforts are underway, in collaboration with the United Nations and other countries, to ensure that essential aid reaches the people in need.

Several countries have expressed concern over the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, as Israel prepares for a ground offensive after a surprise attack by Hamas.

The United Nations and relief agencies report that over two-thirds of the 338,000 displaced individuals have sought refuge in UN-run schools.

Addressing the situation, President Biden and Blinken have emphasized the importance of Israel adhering to the 'rules of war'.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi has called for access through Rafah but also expressed caution regarding large influxes of Palestinians.

An image of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi calling for access through Rafah, taken with a Nikon D850.

Egypt, together with Israel, has maintained a blockade on the Gaza Strip since Hamas took control, tightly regulating the entry of supplies and the exit of people.

The evacuation order by Israel has drawn criticism as a violation of international law, according to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.

This ongoing crisis underscores the responsibility to protect the Palestinian people and ensure their well-being amidst the escalating conflict.