A Briton in Gaza mentioned he has been advised “be able to go” by the UK’s Overseas Workplace as he waits to cross the border into Egypt.
Dr Abdel Hammas, a surgeon on the Royal Liverpool College Hospital, arrived in Gaza on 6 October, a day earlier than the assault on Israel by Hamas.
In an replace to Sky Information on Wednesday, Dr Hammas mentioned he’s nonetheless about 5km from the Rafah crossing, and is ready to be allowed by way of.
It comes as the primary group of injured evacuees from Gaza have moved over the border.
Individuals are additionally considered among the many first group of foreigners in a position to depart Gaza for Egypt by way of the Rafah crossing as we speak, a US official has confirmed to Sky Information’ companion website, NBC Information.
It comes after a deal, mediated by Qatar, was struck between Egypt, Israel, and Hamas, to open the crossing to overseas and twin nationals at present trapped in Gaza.
The Palestinian Basic Authority for Crossing and Borders has revealed an inventory of greater than 500 individuals, together with overseas and twin nationals, who will likely be allowed to go away by way of the crossing as we speak.
It’s nonetheless not recognized for sure if any British nationals have been among the many individuals referenced within the report.
In the meantime, a Manchester faculty trainer trapped inside Gaza with 10 members of her husband’s household has advised Sky Information that British nationals couldn’t cross the Rafah border as we speak.
A spokesperson for Scotland’s first minister, whose spouse’s dad and mom are at present in Gaza, additionally mentioned it was their understanding that British nationals have been “not at current” included on the listing of these with the ability to depart.
Footage broadcast on Egyptian state TV – and seen by Sky Information – reveals injured individuals being transported in ambulances throughout the border from the Gaza Strip.
Egypt’s well being ministry says greater than 80 wounded Palestinians are to be introduced into the nation for therapy, and a discipline hospital has been arrange in an Egyptian city close to the crossing.
In different developments:
• The UK’s overseas secretary says groups are prepared to help British nationals in Gaza as quickly as they’re able to depart;
• The Israel Defence Forces says 15 of its troops have been killed in Gaza since Tuesday;
• Hamas claims seven hostages have been killed throughout a strike on a refugee camp in Gaza
In the meantime, the UK’s Overseas Workplace says it understands the Rafah crossing will open for “managed and time-limited intervals” to let “particular teams” of foreigners and severely wounded individuals depart Gaza.
The departure of British nationals “will happen in phases over the approaching days,” in response to the ministry.
“We’ve got been working at each stage of presidency to make sure the Rafah crossing might open and permit all British nationals to go away Gaza,” the division mentioned in a press release.
Overseas Secretary James Cleverly says UK groups are prepared to help British nationals within the Gaza Strip as quickly as they’re able to depart.
UK officers have been despatched to the world to offer assist, the overseas workplace added.
Nonetheless, a spokesperson for Scotland’s first minister, Humza Yousaf says it’s their understanding that “at this stage UK nationals are usually not at current included on this preliminary listing of nations whose nationals can cross”.
“We welcome that the Rafah crossing appears set to be opened for quite a lot of overseas nationals,” the spokesperson mentioned.
“The primary minister has been in touch with the overseas secretary this morning.
“We proceed to liaise with the UK authorities and urge them to work with the Egyptian authorities so that each one UK nationals can urgently depart Gaza as rapidly as potential.”
In keeping with the spokesperson, the primary minister’s spouse, Nadia, has spoken to her mom as we speak, however the household stays “trapped in Gaza, with out clear consuming water, and quickly diminishing provides”.
Rafah is Gaza’s solely gateway to the remainder of the world indirectly managed by Israel.
It’s underneath the management of Egypt as a part of an settlement with Israel and the European Union.
Nonetheless, it has by no means been a traditional, totally open border crossing and is tightly managed by authorities in Cairo.
Over time it has been closed for days, weeks and months at a time. When it does open it is typically intermittent and might all of a sudden shut once more.
It has been closed to civilians wishing to cross into Egypt because the begin of final month’s battle between Israel and Hamas – although quite a lot of help vans have been allowed into Gaza by way of the Rafah crossing.