The federal government has told Canadians trapped in the besieged Gaza Strip they will likely have to wait at least until Monday to escape the war-torn territory and cross the Rafah border into Egypt, but even that date remains uncertain.
Dalia Salim received an email from Global Affairs Canada Saturday evening that says evacuations for Canadian citizens, permanent residents and family members are tentatively scheduled to begin as early as Monday.
Salim, who lives in London, Ont., has been trying to get her father out of Gaza for weeks.
Global Affairs Canada had previously told affected people they may be able to leave “as early as Sunday,” but the trickle of foreigners allowed to use the Rafah border crossing came to a halt on Saturday amid escalating attacks from Israel in retaliation for Hamas’ deadly Oct. 7 incursion into that country.
Salim says she was warned that because the border remains closed, her father’s departure from Gaza could be delayed.
A spokesman with the Palestinian Crossings Authority said officials in Gaza didn’t allow foreign passport holders to leave because Israel was preventing the evacuation of Palestinian patients for treatment in Egypt.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 5, 2023.