Brit in Gaza describes desperate scene at Rafah crossing
Hundreds of foreign nationals, including Britons and Americans, and dozens of seriously injured Palestinians have been allowed to leave Gaza, as the Rafah crossing opened for the first time since the war began more than three weeks ago.
Numbers making it out were unclear, but some were turned away in chaotic scenes as desperate families begged guards to be allowed to cross to safety as heavy bombardment continued.
The UK Foreign Office said the crossing to Egypt would be open for “controlled and time-limited periods” to allow foreign nationals and the seriously injured to leave.
A communications blackout meant those trying to flee do not know whether their names are on the list of permitted evacuees.
It comes as the only cancer treatment hospital in Gaza is out of service after it ran out of fuel, health officials said. And the Palestinian health ministry warned that Al-Shifa, the primary hospital in Gaza, had less than 24 hours of fuel remaining.
Egypt will take in 81 wounded people from Gaza and treat them in hospital, Gaza’s General Authority for Crossings and Borders told the New York Times.
Earlier, the Israeli military admitted launching a wide-scale airstrike on the densely inhabited Jabalia refugee camp where potentially “dozens” of civilians were killed.
Desperate scenes at crossing as many Britons turned away
Jane Dalton1 November 2023 19:36
Sunak ‘hopeful’ of Britons’ escape
UK prime minister Rishi Sunak says he hopes Britons will have been among the foreigners to have escaped Gaza into Egypt.
Asked whether British nationals would be getting out in the current “wave” of crossings at Rafah, Mr Sunak told ITV’s Robert Peston: “We are hopeful that we’ve made some progress. It’s something that we have pushed on repeatedly with all partners.
“You know, hopefully, we will now start to see that … we’ll do everything we can to get them out, including hostages as well.”
Jane Dalton1 November 2023 19:28
First British nationals leave Gaza as Rafah crossing opens
The first British nationals have left Gaza via the Rafah border crossing from Gaza into Egypt, the Foreign Office has said.
Officials said the crossing will be open for “controlled and time-limited periods” to allow specific groups of foreign nationals and the seriously injured to leave Gaza.
A spokesperson for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said: “We will continue working with partners to ensure the crossing is opened again, allowing vital aid into Gaza and more British nationals to leave safely.
“We are regularly updating all British nationals registered us.
“The crossing will be open for controlled and time-limited periods to allow specific groups of foreign nationals and the seriously wounded to leave.
“We have agreed a list of British nationals that want to leave Gaza with Egyptian and Israeli authorities. We will be informed in advance when those on the list can use the crossing to ensure we can provide assistance.”
Natalie Crockett1 November 2023 18:48
Gaza death toll reaches 8,796
Medical authorities in Hamas-run Gaza say 8,796 people have been killed in the enclave since Israel started its bombardment, following Hamas’s raid in which 1,400 Israelis were killed and more than 200 taken hostage.
The Gaza death toll includes 3,648 children, the authorities say.
Jane Dalton1 November 2023 18:45
More Americans set to flee Gaza, says Biden
More Americans are expected to be able to escape Gaza in the coming days, US president Joe Biden says.
“We won’t let up working to get Americans out of Gaza,” he vowed.
Jane Dalton1 November 2023 18:00
Opinion: If Starmer wants to be PM, he must not U-turn on ceasefire
Starmer is rightly acting like a prime minister-in-waiting, rather than a leader of opposition who can take the easy option – in this case, calling for the ceasefire many in the party and the wider public understandably want, writes Andrew Grice:
Jane Dalton1 November 2023 17:17
US ally Jordan recalls ambassador from Israel
In a sign of increasing alarm over the war among Arab countries, Jordan has recalled its ambassador from Israel and told Israel’s ambassador to remain out of the country.
Jordan, a key US ally, signed a peace deal with Israel in 1994, the second Arab country after Egypt to do so.
Jordan’s Deputy Prime Minister, Ayman al-Safadi, said the return of the ambassadors is linked to Israel “stopping its war on Gaza — and the humanitarian catastrophe it is causing.”
He warned of the potential of the conflict to spread, threatening “the security of the entire region”.
Jane Dalton1 November 2023 16:39
At least 320 foreign nationals have been evacuated to Egypt so far
At least 320 foreign passport holders crossed on Wednesday to Egypt from Gaza in the first batch of evacuations from the besieged strip, Reuters said.
The Palestinian official on the Gaza side of the border said the foreign passport holders crossed the Rafah crossing on six buses.
A first list of about 500 foreigners or dual nationals had been cleared to leave Gaza, with evacuations expected to continue in the days to come.
Barney Davis1 November 2023 15:55
Kamala Harris’ husband says ‘crisis of anti-Semitism’ in UK
Douglas Emhoff, the first Jewish spouse of an American president or vice president, said antisemitism and other forms of hate were “like a venom coursing through our world right now”.
He said he had made it his mission to “push back on this epidemic of hate”, adding that it was already “bad here in the UK” and around the world before the Hamas attacks on Israel.
Adam Forrest1 November 2023 15:31
Dagestan passengers flown to safety by helicopter after ‘anti-Semitic mob’ stormed airport
Israel’s ambassador to Moscow gave new details Wednesday of the weekend riot at an airport in southern Russia when a flight from Tel Aviv landed there, saying some of the passengers had to hide in the terminal before being flown by helicopter to safety.Ambassador Alexander Ben Zvi blamed Sunday night’s unrest on extremist elements resulting from “indoctrination” in the mostly Muslim republic of Dagestan.
“Of course, there has always been, is and will be antisemitism on the everyday level. The important thing is that it doesn’t develop into what we saw in Makhachkala,” Ben Zvi told AP. “If all this is under control, I think there will be no problems.”
Hundreds of men, some carrying banners with antisemitic slogans, roamed the building and rushed onto the tarmac looking for Israeli passengers.
It took the authorities several hours to disperse the mob, which threw stones at police.At least 20 people, both police and civilians, were injured and more than 80 were detained.
Authorities in Dagestan said 17 people were charged with petty hooliganism and participating in an unauthorised mass event, with courts ordering 15 of them to serve short stints in jail and two others — to undertake correctional labour.
Barney Davis1 November 2023 15:25