Several foreign nationals walk after passing the Rafah border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, in Rafah, Egypt, 01 November 2023. EFE-EPA/STRINGER

Australia says 20 of its citizens were evacuated to Egypt from Gaza

Sydney, Australia, Nov 2 (EFE).- Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong said Thursday that 20 Australians and two family members, as well as a permanent resident, were evacuated to Egypt through the Rafah crossing, under an agreement brokered by Qatar with Israel and Hamas.

” after so much international lobbying, I’m just so relieved that the Rafah crossing has been opened,” Wong said in a statement to Australian public broadcaster ABC.

The minister said Canberra would continue working to guarantee the departure from Gaza of the Australians – who are estimated to be 65 – if the Rafah crossing, bordering Egypt, “is opened again,” something considered “possible.”

The evacuation of the Australians came following the opening, for the first time, of the Rafah crossing since the beginning of the conflict between Israel and the Islamist group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. They’re part of a group of at least 76 wounded and 335 Palestinians with foreign passports and citizens of other countries.

Since Oct. 7, Palestinians have been the victims of bombings by the Israeli army, retaliation for the Hamas attack, which killed more than 1,400 in Israeli territory.

The deaths in Gaza due to Israeli bombings have risen to almost 8,800, and the injured are more than 22,219, Palestinian Health Ministry Spokesman Ashraf Al Qudra said Wednesday. EFE