More Canadians could soon be leaving Gaza after names appear in latest document

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More Canadians could soon be leaving Gaza after their names appeared in the latest published document by Gaza’s General Authority of Crossings and Borders.

The document on Wednesday contained 40 names under the Canada heading, with many listed as having dual citizenship.

Other countries listed include Germany, the Philippines, Ukraine, Romania, and the United States.

The Canadian government confirmed that 75 people connected to Canada left the Palestinian territory via its border with Egypt on Tuesday.

Global Affairs Canada said that Canada is unable to determine when or how many people can cross each day, and the situation is fluid and unpredictable. 

It said Canadian officials were on the Egyptian side of the border to welcome those who are leaving and facilitate their transportation to Cairo.

The department had said in a statement on Monday that the Israeli military has assured Canada more than 400 of its citizens would be able to cross “in the coming days.” 

The breakthrough on Tuesday came after Canada had told citizens trapped in Gaza they could be allowed out over the weekend, but attacks by Israel closed the Rafah crossing — the only way out for foreign nationals — until Monday.

Those who cross over from the Gaza Strip are allowed to stay in Egypt for a maximum of three days. People connected to Canada will receive help with accommodation, food and basic necessities, Global Affairs said.

“Canada does not determine when or how many persons can cross each day,” the department said in a late afternoon statement on Tuesday. 

“As the situation is quite fluid and unpredictable, Canadians should be prepared for significant delays at the Rafah border.”

The war began just over a month ago when Hamas militants conducted surprise attacks in Israel on Oct. 7.

The Israeli government says some 1,400 Israelis have been killed, most of them civilians in those initial attacks, and another 240 people have been taken hostage. 

Israel retaliated by launching a month-long bombing campaign in the Gaza Strip, where Hamas has been in charge since 2007 and some 2.3 million Palestinians live. 

The Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry says more than 10,000 people have been killed in the retaliatory strikes. 

Canada has listed Hamas as a terrorist entity for more than two decades. 

The Canadian government has asserted that Israel has the right to defend itself, but Canada has also advocated for the opening of corridors into Gaza that would allow both the departure of foreign nationals and the delivery of humanitarian aid. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 8, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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