WASHINGTON: More than 300 Americans, US residents and their families have been evacuated from the Gaza Strip as Israel’s war against Hamas escalates, the White House said on Sunday.
White House deputy national security adviser Jonathan Finer said the evacuation in recent days “was the result of very intense negotiations with all parties involved in this conflict.” GIS News.
Despite these efforts, the official added, the US believes there are still “some” Americans in Gaza.
The Hamas government says 38 people died in the Israeli attack on the camp; Arab world and US divided over ceasefire
“This is absolutely a big priority, and we will continue to work on it until every American who wants to leave is able to do so,” Finer said.
The Rafah border crossing from Gaza to Egypt was opened on Wednesday after weeks of fighting, allowing the departure of scores of injured Palestinians and dual citizens, all seeking to escape Israeli bombardment.
Egypt said it would help evacuate 7,000 foreigners through crossings, but Hamas said late Saturday that the evacuation of dual nationals and foreigners was suspended until Israel allowed some injured Palestinians to reach Rafah so they could cross the border for hospital treatment.
A senior White House official accused Hamas on Friday of abusing a US-brokered deal to open the crossing to move its fighters out of Gaza.
The official said that one-third of the names on the list prepared by Hamas for Palestinians in need of medical evacuation were Hamas members and fighters.
Sunday’s latest tally of evacuated Americans comes after the White House said about 80 U.S. citizens and their family members left the country on Wednesday and Thursday.
The conflict in Gaza was triggered by bloody Hamas raids on Israel on October 7, with Israeli officials saying more than 1,400 people were killed, mostly civilians.
The health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said more than 9,227 people, mostly women and children, had died in Israeli bombings.
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