Canadians trapped in Gaza still waiting to leave as border crossing set to reopen

Canadians trapped in Gaza still waiting to leave as border crossing set to reopen
Palestinians wait to cross into Egypt at Rafah, Gaza Strip, on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023.

Hundreds of Canadians hoping to escape the besieged Gaza Strip may get their chance as early as Sunday as the sole available land crossing out of the territory was set to reopen following a two-day closure.

The General Authority for Crossings and Borders shared notice of the reopening on a Facebook page where it also posts a daily list of foreigners cleared to make the journey.

That list, which is compiled in co-ordination with the Egyptian and Israeli governments, had not been updated as of Saturday night, but Global Affairs Canada previously confirmed that 266 Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their families had been cleared to cross the border as of Friday when the latest closure first took effect.

Global Affairs did not provide any updates on Saturday and did not respond to multiple requests for information.

A total of 107 people with connections to Canada managed to leave Gaza via the Rafah crossing on Tuesday and Thursday of last week.

The war, now in its sixth week,  began on Oct. 7 when Hamas militants stormed into Israel, killing an estimated 1,200 people and taking roughly 240 others back into Gaza as hostages. Israel has retaliated with daily air and land strikes, and the Hamas-run health authority says casualties in the territory have topped 11,000.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 12, 2023. 

The Canadian PressThe Canadian Press

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