A Canadian based in Gaza says his wife and children arrived at a border crossing with Egypt several hours ago Tuesday after Global Affairs Canada informed them they could leave the besieged Palestinian territory
Mansour Shouman, who will not leave Gaza himself, says he said goodbye to his wife and five children and received a message from them a few hours ago informing him that they were at the Rafah crossing. He hasn’t heard from them since.
Mr Shouman hopes his family – who received an email from Global Affairs earlier today with details of their evacuation – was able to cross the border safely, but he is awaiting confirmation from them.
A cohort of Canadian citizens and their loved ones received the green light Tuesday to flee Gaza for the first time since the war between Israel and Hamas began a month ago.
An evacuation list approved by the General Authority for Crossings and Borders in Gaza lists approximately 80 people linked to Canada who were granted permission to leave the Rafah border crossing.
The list, as presented on a widely shared Google spreadsheet, shows about 20 people listed as Canadian citizens, while the rest are Palestinian or have dual citizenship.
The document also contains the names of other foreign nationals from countries including France, the Philippines, Ukraine, Moldova, Germany and the United Kingdom who have been granted permission to leave.
The Canadian Embassy in Egypt said it has a team of consular officials ready to assist Canadians, permanent residents and their family members as they pass through Rafah to Egypt. A bus is to take them to their accommodation in Cairo.
Canada had earlier told citizens stuck in the besieged Palestinian territory that they might be allowed out over the weekend, but Israeli attacks closed the Rafah crossing until Monday.
Rafah is the only exit for foreign nationals wishing to leave the Palestinian territory, which has been constantly bombarded since the Israeli army launched attacks in retaliation for Hamas’ brutal incursion on October 7.
Global Affairs Canada said in a statement Monday that the Israeli military had assured Canada that more than 400 of its citizens could cross the border “in the coming days” and added that three of them had already escaped with a third, without giving more details.
Furthermore, the federal ministry added that it was in contact with 600 Canadian citizens, permanent residents and members of their families in the territory.