In response to the escalating violence in the Gaza Strip, a list of 135 Canadians has been approved for departure to Egypt via the Rafah land crossing, as confirmed by the General Authority for Crossings and Borders in Gaza.
Escalation of Conflict and Canadian Evacuations
The ongoing conflict in the region intensified on October 7th following brutal surprise attacks by Hamas militants, which resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1,200 Israelis and the capture of another 240 people. In retaliation, Israel declared war on Hamas, initiating an airstrike campaign and severing essential supplies to the Gaza Strip, affecting its 2.3 million residents.
Amidst this turmoil, Canadians with ties to the region have been seeking safe passage out. A notice from Gaza’s General Authority for Crossings and Borders, posted on their Facebook page, instructed those cleared for departure to be at the Rafah border crossing by 7 a.m. local time. This evacuation process is a part of a larger effort, as reported by Global Affairs Canada on Friday, which has seen 376 Canadians, including permanent residents and their relatives, successfully leave the Palestinian territory.
Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza
The conflict has led to a significant humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Local health officials report over 11,500 casualties, with women and children constituting two-thirds of these tragic losses. Furthermore, approximately 2,700 individuals are reported missing, highlighting the severity of the situation.
Canada’s Response and Assistance
Global Affairs Canada has been actively monitoring the situation and coordinating efforts to evacuate Canadian nationals and their families. This evacuation process is crucial for those desperate to escape the escalating violence and the deteriorating living conditions in Gaza.