No Canadians appear in today’s list of approved names for Rafah border crossing

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No more Canadians have been approved to leave the Gaza Strip on Wednesday via the Rafah border crossing into Egypt, as hundreds of people connected to Canada continue to wait for help to leave.

A total of 356 Canadians, permanent residents and family members have been able to leave the besieged Palestinian territory so far.

No one connected to Canada had been cleared to leave on Tuesday, and the last group of 10 people made it across on Monday. 

Global Affairs Canada said in a statement to media late Tuesday afternoon that the Canadian government is in touch with 390 people who are still in Gaza.

People who cross over are allowed to stay in Egypt for a maximum of three days, and Canadian officials are waiting on the Egyptian side of the border to help with travel, accommodation, food and basic necessities. 

Global Affairs said the Canadian government is helping with onward travel at travellers’ own expense, and it is connecting people with organizations who may be able to provide financial help. 

“Canada does not determine when or how many persons can cross each day. As the situation is quite fluid and unpredictable, Canadians should be prepared for significant delays and unexpected closures at the Rafah border,” the department said. 

“Canada continues to engage all relevant parties to ensure that Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and their eligible family members presently in Gaza can exit safely and promptly. We continue to communicate directly with Canadians, asking them to have their travel documents at hand and be ready to travel on short notice.”

Israel declared war against Hamas after its militants killed 1,200 people on Oct. 7, including hundreds of civilians, and took about 240 people hostage.

Health officials in the Hamas-controlled territory say weeks of retaliatory airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip have now killed more than 11,200 people.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged on Tuesday that Israel must use “maximum restraint” to protect civilian life in the brutal war it is waging on Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

“I have been clear that the price of justice cannot be the continued suffering of all Palestinian civilians. Even wars have rules,” Trudeau said at an event in Vancouver.

He said the violence urgently needs to stop, “so that Palestinians can get access to life-saving medical services, food, fuel and water, so that all hostages can be released, so that all Canadians and other nationals can leave Gaza.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rebuked Trudeau on X, formerly known as Twitter, saying “while Israel is doing everything to keep civilians out of harm’s way, Hamas is doing everything to keep them in harm’s way.”

Israel accuses Hamas of using hospitals as cover for its fighters, alleging that Hamas has set up its main command centre in and beneath Shifa hospital, without providing visual evidence. Both Hamas and Hospital staff deny the Israeli allegations.

Israel has refused to allow fuel shipments into Gaza since Hamas’s cross-border attack on Oct. 7. Israel says Hamas will divert any fuel shipments for military use.

Palestinians trapped in Gaza are struggling to survive without electricity or running water and are rationing food as Israel’s siege of the territory extends into its second month.

The Canadian government has faced increased pressure domestically from the National Council of Canadian Muslims, refugee settlement agencies, opposition members and municipal politicians to call for a ceasefire, in a bid to safely evacuate civilians and deliver humanitarian aid.

Trudeau has instead called for “a sustained humanitarian pause” in the bombardments.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 15, 2023. 

— With files from The Associated Press.

The Canadian Press

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