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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Foreigners, injured Palestinians start to exit Gaza for Egypt

Palestinians are seen at the border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt in Rafah. Injured Palestinians, Palestinians with second passports and foreign nationals can be evacuated through the Rafah border crossing.    (Abed Rahim Khatib/DPA/Abaca Press/TNS)
By Tarek El-Tablawy Bloomberg News

Some foreign-passport holders and wounded Palestinians began crossing from Gaza into Egypt, the first such groups since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, according to footage aired by Arab TV channels.

Images showed crowds of people carrying baggage assembled around the gates at the Rafah border point. Hamas, which controls the Palestinian territory, said earlier Wednesday it expected some foreigners and dual nationals to be allowed into Egypt. It published a list that included workers from the International Committee of the Red Cross and nationals from Australia, Austria, Jordan and Indonesia.

Ambulances crossed from Egypt into Gaza, then returned carrying some passengers, footage showed. More than 80 injured Palestinians were set to be treated in Egypt, with authorities in North Sinai preparing field hospitals, according to local media.

Egypt, which has the only non-Israeli controlled crossing with Gaza, is a lifeline for crucial humanitarian aid for the territory’s 2.3 million residents. More than 8,500 Palestinians have been killed in the conflict, according to authorities in Hamas-run Gaza. Hamas is designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. and the E.U.

There were no indications if many more people would be allowed to leave Gaza. The U.S estimates it has 500-600 citizens in the enclave.