It was a moment on which the hopes of many residents of the Gaza Strip were pinned. For the first time since the start of the war between Israel and the Hamas movement, the Rafah border crossing was also opened for evacuation purposes. Although only partially, many hoped that they would get to Egypt. Mostly in vain.
Palestinians waiting at the Rafah border crossing
| Photo: CTK/Abed Rahim Khatib/Anadolu
It was their third attempt to cross the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. And despite previous setbacks, they had reason to believe that this time it would actually work. The family of Tala Abu Nahleh was contacted by the Jordanian embassy with advice to go to the Rafáh border crossingwhich was supposed to open on Wednesday to holders of foreign passports as well as severely injured Palestinians.
Twenty-four-year-old Tala, whose mother is a Jordanian citizen, really does she set out on her journey. And she hoped it would work out this time. Had to…
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The family’s already difficult situation is made even worse by the health condition of Talin’s fifteen-year-old brother Yazid. He is in a wheelchair and suffers from frequent seizures. “When the situation escalated, Yazid was very afraid and his fits became worse and worse. Every time I start to believe that it can’t get any worse, life convinces me otherwise,” the young woman describes for the BBC server, adding that hospitals in Gaza the medicine her brother desperately needs has already run out.
Despite her relatively young age, Tala is confident and articulate sole breadwinner family of six. Thanks to scholarships in the past, she studied in the USA and in Lebanese Beirut, but now he is facing the biggest challenge of his life. “We are simply trying to survive. It is not certain that we will make it, but we are doing everything in our power to do so. Because I just don’t want to die at 24,” he says.
The Rafah border crossing was opened to civilians:
Without electricity, food or water
Throughout Wednesday, Tala waited to see if luck would finally smile on her and her family, but at the end of the day it was clear that she was in for another night in the bombed Gaza Strip. A hopeless night in a dark apartment.
“We returned home. We have no electricity, food or drinking water. We don’t even have water to wash ourselves. We are one day closer to my brother running out of meds and we are still stuck here. Night came. I don’t know if we will be able to leave tomorrow, but I hope so,” Tala believes in a lucky turn of events.
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The numbers of people who at the time of raging conflict between Israel and the Palestinian radical Islamist movement Hamas stuck in the Gaza Strip, they are stunning. And the number of those who have left — or will be able to leave in the future — is only a tiny percentage of the area’s roughly 2.2 million residents.
Palestinians waiting at the Rafah border crossingSource: CT/Abed Rahim Khatib/Anadolu
Mona was among the happier ones on Wednesday. The woman who after the wedding she was granted Australian citizenship, yet she didn’t have much to smile about. She was haunted by the thought of those she had to leave behind…
“How can I be happy? I left a part of myself there, my brothers and sisters, my whole family stayed there. I wish that they too – God willing – are safe. In Gaza there is a terrible situationit’s really very bad there,” she confided to the BBC news service.
The first foreigners and the injured arrived in Egypt from the Gaza Strip
Dozens of foreigners and people with dual citizenship crossed the Rafah border crossing into Egypt from the Palestinian Gaza Strip on Wednesday. On the same day, ambulances also brought the first wounded Palestinians to Egypt. This happened for the first time ever since October 7, i.e. since the beginning of Israel’s war with the Hamas movement.
According to the server of American television CNN, 81 seriously injured Palestinians entered Egypt on Wednesday, some of them are already undergoing treatment in Egyptian hospitals. Citing an Egyptian government official, CNN also reported that at least 360 foreign passport holders have left the Gaza Strip.