Canada: possible temporary opening of the border between Gaza Strip and Egypt on Saturday afternoon

UN: Tens of thousands of Palestinians fled to southern Gaza after Israel’s evacuation call

Tens of thousands of Palestinians arrived from the north of the Gaza Strip on Friday fled south, reports the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). They did this after a call from the Israeli army to leave the area north of Wadi Gaza within 24 hours.

Hamas called on the 1.1 million people in the area to stay, despite the expected Israeli ground offensive. Eyewitnesses told the DPA news agency that Hamas stopped and sent back people who wanted to flee.

The militant Palestinian movement that killed about 1,300 Israelis last weekend with terrorist actions announced on Friday through its political head Basem Naim that the Palestinian people have only two options: “Overcome this occupation or die in our homes.” Hamas says some 70 Palestinians were killed by Israeli airstrikes on a convoy during Friday’s evacuations.

Before the Israeli army called on Palestinians to leave the northern part of the Gaza Strip, almost 400,000 people were already displaced in Gaza, according to the UN.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres asks the Israeli authorities in an opinion piece The New York Times for the Gaza evacuation order to reconsider. “A disastrous escalation is imminent and we are at a crucial crossroads,” he wrote. Guterres calls on both sides to find a way out of the impasse before more lives are lost.

Canada: possible temporary opening of the border between Gaza Strip and Egypt on Saturday afternoon

The border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt may temporarily open this Saturday afternoon to allow foreigners to leave Gaza. Deputy Assistant Minister Julie Sunday of the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said this to reporters on Friday evening CBC News. The ministry says it is consulting with Egyptian and Israeli authorities about temporarily opening the Rafah border crossing between noon and 5 p.m. for Canadians and other foreigners stuck in the Gaza Strip.

The ministry is not yet calling on the approximately 150 Canadians in Gaza to come to the border, because there is no certainty yet about the opening. “The last thing we want is for Canadians to get stuck there,” Sunday said.

There are also ten Dutch people stuck in the Gaza Strip, outgoing Minister of Foreign Affairs Hanke Bruins Slot (CDA) said on Friday evening On 1. Earlier on Friday, her ministry spoke of nine Dutch people. According to Bruins Slot, the Netherlands is doing everything it can to help them leave Gaza, but this is currently impossible due to the closed borders. “It doesn’t look good,” she said.

The Rafah border crossing in March 2020. Photo Mohammed Saber / EPA