As foreigners get permission to leave Gaza, 1.4 million people are displaced
Hundreds of people with foreign passports were allowed to leave the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, including a Belgian, the Federal Public Service (FPS) Foreign Affairs confirmed to Belga. Meanwhile, UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, says an estimated 1.4 million people are displaced in Gaza.
For the first time since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas, the border on the Gaza side was opened, and some 550 people were allowed to enter the Gaza-Egypt border complex.
"Several countries have been informed of the possible opening of the crossing for a limited number of people who have been given permission," said Wouter Poels, spokesperson for the FPS Foreign Affairs.
Humanitarian organisations have also been permitted to evacuate their members. Among them is a Belgian, Poels confirmed. The list published on Facebook by the Gaza border authorities includes the name of Matthias Kennes, an employee of Médecins Sans Frontières.
"Our diplomatic and consular representations are ready to assist the Belgians and beneficiaries entering Egypt via Rafah"
According to the ministry, there is a similar authorisation for "85 Belgians and 90 beneficiaries". "Our diplomatic and consular representations are ready to assist the Belgians and beneficiaries entering Egypt via Rafah," Poels said.
While the border between Gaza and Egypt has been opened for dozens of seriously injured Palestinians and people with foreign passports, there is no way out for other Gazans. On one side, Israel is keeping the borders closed, and at Rafah, the border with Gaza is strictly guarded by Egypt.
Meanwhile, UNRWA says an estimated 1.4 million people are displaced in Gaza, and that 70 UN workers have been killed in Gaza since the conflict began on 7 October. Another 22 have been wounded.
© PHOTO MAXAR TECHNOLOGIES / AFP