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17 July, 2024
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Limited exodus as foreigners permitted to leave Gaza for Egypt

A fragile agreement allows a select few to escape the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza


In the midst of a dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza, a limited agreement was reached, allowing dozens of dual passport holders and seriously injured Palestinians to leave the besieged enclave after more than three weeks of siege. Israeli airstrikes continued to pound Gaza, particularly the Jabaliya refugee camp, resulting in significant destruction and casualties.

Gaza has been enduring a severe humanitarian crisis, with tens of thousands of residents displaced from their homes and essential supplies like food, water, and fuel running critically low. A territory-wide blackout has also left hospitals reliant on generators that could soon shut down due to a lack of fuel.

Up to this point, no one had been allowed to leave Gaza except for a few hostages released by Hamas and one rescued by Israeli forces earlier in the week. A limited agreement now permits some foreign passport holders to exit.

Jordan, a key U.S. ally, recalled its ambassador from Israel and told Israel's ambassador to remain out of the country, emphasizing the urgency of stopping the war on Gaza and addressing the humanitarian catastrophe.

Israeli ground forces pushed closer to Gaza City, particularly targeting the outskirts. The city is crucial as it houses much of Hamas' military infrastructure, including extensive underground tunnels.

More than 400 foreign passport holders were expected to leave for Egypt. However, Egypt expressed concerns about receiving Palestinian refugees for fear of Israel not allowing their return after the conflict.

A communications blackout further exacerbated the dire situation, affecting both internet and mobile phone services. Such blackouts impede civilians' ability to seek safety and medical assistance.

The conflict has resulted in significant casualties on both sides. More than 8,700 Palestinians have been killed, predominantly civilians, while over 1,400 Israelis have died, many of them civilians. The toll is unprecedented in recent Israeli-Palestinian conflicts.

Israel's military operations in Gaza have continued, with Israeli forces seeking to control the main north-south roads. However, Israel has not disclosed its plans for governing Gaza after its military objectives are achieved.

The situation in Gaza remains dire, with urgent international efforts needed to address the humanitarian crisis and seek a lasting resolution to the conflict.

[Information sourced from AP News]

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