Rafah Crossing Crowded with Foreign Nationals Waiting to Leave Gaza
  • GAZA

  • Monday, October 16, 2023 at 9:41 PM
    Last Update : Monday, October 16, 2023 at 9:46 PM

Rafah Crossing Crowded with Foreign Nationals Waiting to Leave Gaza

(AWP) - Dozens of foreign nationals gathered in front of the Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip on Monday, waiting to be allowed to leave the enclave, while the border gate remained closed due to the ongoing Israeli war on Gaza.

Kholoud Fayad, a Canadian passport holder, said, “I primarily reside in Saudi Arabia and I lived in Saudi Arabia all my life but I hold a Canadian passport because I also lived in Canada. My children are in Canada. The war started on Saturday and we were moved to the schools. It was a very distressing and very painful thing. It’s the first time in my life I have seen such scenes.”

Rowayda al-Masry, a Jordanian woman, said she came to the crossing twice.
“They fired at it the first time and so we returned. We came here again but have not been able to go through so far,” she explained.

An Egyptian woman, Suad Badawy, appealed to President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to “open the crossing for us. We are tired. I have children and my daughters-in-law. We were on a visit to Gaza.”

In Cairo, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said the Israeli government has not yet taken a position allowing the opening of the Rafah crossing on the Gaza side for the entry of aid or exit of citizens from third countries.

At a press conference with his French counterpart Catherine Colonna following their meeting in Cairo, Shoukry said, “Egypt is ready to send aid to Gaza and allow the exit of citizens from third countries and operate the Rafah crossing as normal.”

He also expressed hope of a “breakthrough” in this regard, warning, “The matter in Gaza is serious as the Palestinian people are in critical need. There is no water, food, medicine or shelter for those who were forced to flee.”

Meanwhile, Al-Qahera News broadcast said that an unnamed Egyptian source denied there was any appeasement deal in Gaza or the commencement of aid deliveries to the region.

In Israel, local media quoted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office as affirming that there is currently no ceasefire in Gaza.

The reports came after the U.S. embassy in Israel reported on Monday that the Rafah crossing would open at 9 a.m. local time but it was unclear whether people would be allowed to pass or how long it would remain open.