Israel’s war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip has stretched for nearly a month. For the first time, scores of foreign passport holders are being allowed to leave the bomb-ravaged territory after having been blocked by terrorists associated with Hamas.
About 400 Americans are part of the first evacuation out of Gaza, with many departing the war-torn region late on November 2. The United States State Department believes that in addition to the 400 Americans, another 600 individuals who are spouses, children, or other family members will also be evacuated. Evacuees are being directed through the Rafah crossing at the border of Egypt.
Among those escaping are around 76 individuals who require emergency medical care. Israel has shut down power, water, and internet connectivity in Gaza after Hamas terrorists attacked Israeli settlements along the border on October 7. The terrorist attack triggered a massive response from the Israeli Defense Forces that began almost immediately with airstrikes targeting missile launching systems and communications operations.
On Thursday, the IDF announced they had encircled Gaza City, the largest enclave in the Strip and believed to be the base of operations for terrorists.
Joining the Americans are foreign nationals from Mexico, Hungary, Croatia, South Korea, Azerbaijan, Greece, Chad, Bahrain, Italy, Switzerland, North Macedonia, Sri Lanka, the Netherlands and Belgium.
Among those fleeing the battleground are a number of medical personnel who have been on the ground since before the conflict began to offer humanitarian aid to Palestinians who are caught in the middle of the terror campaign and the resulting assault by the IDF.
— One America News (@OANN) November 3, 2023
Those being evacuated do not include any individuals who are held as hostages by Hamas. The terrorist organization claims to have captured 242 people on October 7 during raids in Israel. Four have been released including two women who hold dual U.S.-Israel passports. One captive, an IDF soldier taken prisoner on October 7 was rescued in a daring mission by the IDF.
Hamas claims that around 50 of the hostages taken have died in captivity. The terrorist organization claims that the prisoners died as a result of IDF airstrikes targeting senior leaders and operations centers. IDF claims they have “liquidated” as many as 50 high-ranking Hamas commanders in Gaza. Hamas says the airstrikes have also taken the lives of more than 8,000 civilians who were unable or unwilling to leave Northern Gaza ahead of intensified airstrikes and a ground invasion that began in October.