Talks underway to allow US citizens and Palestinians to leave Gaza, Israeli official says
22:54, Wednesday, 11 October, 2023
Talks are underway to allow United States and Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip to exit the territory into Egypt ahead of any land invasion of the territory by Israeli forces, according to a senior Israeli official.
Under the proposal being discussed, all US citizens would be permitted to pass through the Rafah border crossing if they present their US passports, while the movement of other Palestinian civilians would be limited to 2,000 people a day, the official with knowledge of the negotiations told CNN on Wednesday.
Final approval of the arrangement would need to come from the Egyptians, who control the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt. The Israeli official said it was “in Israel’s interests” for as many Palestinians as possible to leave Gaza.
Some context: Airstrikes in Gaza have forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes — but there is little room to go. Across the Middle East, Gaza is among the smallest and most densely packed cities.
Americans in Gaza who spoke with CNN have expressed fear and frustration about feeling that they are trapped without any safe route out of the region that is being heavily bombarded by Israeli forces.
There were reports that the only route of Gaza — via Egypt — was closed Tuesday due to strikes, and the threat of an Israeli ground incursion is looming.