Ongoing Updates | Entry of Foreign Passport Holders at Rafah Border Crossing

by Ryan Lee
fokus keyword: Gaza-Egypt Border

On Wednesday, numerous individuals were seen entering the Rafah border crossing, moving from Gaza into Egypt. This marks the first instance that foreign passport holders have been granted permission to exit the blockaded territory since the inception of hostilities between Israel and Hamas over three weeks ago.

Early on the same day, telecommunications companies Paltel and Jawwal announced a “total interruption” of communications and internet services within Gaza. This represents the second significant outage within a span of five days. Agencies involved in humanitarian assistance have cautioned that such disruptions gravely impede their operations in an already critical situation in Gaza.

The conflict between Israel and Hamas has resulted in 8,525 Palestinian casualties as reported by the Health Ministry in Gaza, which is under Hamas control. Additionally, over 122 Palestinians have lost their lives in the West Bank owing to violent incidents and Israeli operations.

In Israel, the death toll has reached more than 1,400 individuals, a majority of whom are civilians. The fatalities largely occurred during the initial attack by Hamas on October 7 that triggered the conflict. Furthermore, approximately 240 hostages were taken by the militant group from Israel to Gaza. An Israeli female soldier, who was among the hostages, was subsequently liberated in a special forces operation.

Current Highlights

  1. A total of five hostages held by Hamas have been released, raising hopes for the families of the remaining 200-plus captives.

  2. Yemen’s Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for assaults on Israeli targets, thereby tightening their primary sponsor Iran’s involvement in the conflict with Hamas.

  3. Bolivia has cut off diplomatic relations with Israel, while both Chile and Colombia have withdrawn their ambassadors.

  4. Amnesty International has accused Israeli forces of injuring Lebanese civilians through the use of white phosphorus.

  5. Members of Biden’s Cabinet are lobbying Congress to extend aid to both Israel and Ukraine.

For more extensive coverage, visit AP’s reporting.

Latest Developments in the Israel-Hamas Conflict

Entrance to Rafah Border Crossing from Gaza to Egypt Permitted

Several individuals were observed entering the Rafah border crossing from Gaza into Egypt on Wednesday. It serves as the first occasion when foreign passport holders have been authorized to vacate the blockaded area since the warfare began.

Although hundreds have assembled at the border crossing over the past few weeks, they have been denied exit due to disagreements among Egypt, Israel, and Hamas. Up until now, only four hostages were released by Hamas, with another being rescued by Israeli forces earlier in the week.

Egyptian government-controlled media reported that more than 80 injured Palestinians would be transferred from Gaza to Egypt for medical attention on Wednesday. Ambulances were spotted at the Rafah border crossing on the Egyptian side, and a makeshift hospital has been erected in the nearby town of Sheikh Zuweid.

The Palestinian border authority confirmed that upwards of 400 foreign passport holders are slated to depart Gaza on Wednesday. Egypt, however, has indicated that it will not accommodate a large influx of Palestinian refugees, citing concerns that Israel might not permit their return to Gaza post-conflict.

Complete Communications Blackout in Gaza

CAIRO — A complete communications blackout in Gaza was reported by providers Paltel and Jawwal on Wednesday. Internet-access advocacy group NetBlocks.org corroborated that Gaza is experiencing a comprehensive telecommunications outage, consistent with the previous weekend’s blackout.

Earlier connectivity disruption occurred from late Friday to early Sunday, aligning with Israel’s deployment of a large contingent of ground forces into Gaza, a move characterized by Israel as a new phase in the ongoing conflict. Attempts to contact residents in Gaza were fruitless early on Wednesday.

Humanitarian organizations have underscored that such communication lapses severely obstruct their activities in an already precarious situation in Gaza. Médecins Sans Frontières indicated that the blackout has adversely affected its operations, making it “impossible to coordinate” its activities in Gaza hospitals since Tuesday evening.

Call for Global Intervention Following Israeli Airstrikes on Refugee Camp

ISLAMABAD — Interim Prime Minister of Pakistan, Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, strongly condemned the recent Israeli airstrikes on a refugee camp near Gaza City. He implored the international community to actively intervene to cease such aerial attacks.

Kakar’s statement highlighted the air raid on Jabalia camp as an egregious example of ongoing Israeli aggression and violations of international law in Gaza. “The global community must act expeditiously to terminate this slaughter,” he stated.

Arab Nations Express Outrage Over Israeli Airstrikes on Refugee Camp

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Three Arab nations, namely Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, have issued vehement criticisms of Israel’s airstrikes on a refugee camp in the vicinity of Gaza City.

While the exact number of casualties remains indeterminate, a physician stated that the strikes resulted in hundreds of deaths and injuries. Qatar, currently facilitating negotiations with Hamas concerning the hostages, characterized the attack as “a perilous escalation in the ongoing confrontations, which could jeopardize mediation and de-escalation endeavors.”

U.S. Secretary of State Scheduled to Visit Israel

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has revealed plans to visit Israel on Friday to discuss the continuous conflict with Hamas with Israeli officials.

Matthew Miller, spokesperson for the State Department, announced that following his visit to Israel, Blinken will proceed to other yet-to-be-disclosed locations within the region.

Earlier in October, Blinken embarked on an emergency trip to the Middle East, where he engaged with officials from Israel, Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates.

Contributions by Jon Gambrell, Big Big News writer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Israel-Hamas Conflict

What is the significance of the Rafah Border Crossing in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict?

The Rafah Border Crossing serves as a critical exit and entry point between Gaza and Egypt. It gained particular attention when, for the first time since the conflict began over three weeks ago, foreign passport holders were allowed to leave Gaza through this crossing.

Who reported the communication blackout in Gaza, and what is its impact?

Telecommunications companies Paltel and Jawwal reported a complete communication blackout in Gaza. Humanitarian agencies have warned that such disruptions severely impede their efforts to provide aid and coordinate activities in an already dire situation in Gaza.

How many casualties have been reported in the Israel-Hamas conflict?

According to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza, 8,525 Palestinians have died in the conflict. More than 1,400 people in Israel have also been killed. Over 122 Palestinians have lost their lives in the West Bank due to violent incidents and Israeli operations.

What is the stance of Arab nations on the recent Israeli airstrikes on a refugee camp?

Three Arab nations, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, have strongly criticized Israel’s airstrikes on a refugee camp near Gaza City. The exact number of casualties in the strikes was not specified, but they have been described as resulting in hundreds of deaths and injuries.

What is the United States’ involvement in the Israel-Hamas conflict?

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has announced plans to visit Israel to consult with Israeli officials about their ongoing war on Hamas. Additionally, members of Biden’s Cabinet are lobbying Congress to extend aid to Israel.

What is happening with the hostages taken by Hamas?

Five hostages have been released by Hamas, offering some hope for the families of more than 200 still being held captive. One female Israeli soldier who was among the captives was rescued in a special forces operation.

How are other countries responding diplomatically to the Israel-Hamas conflict?

Bolivia has severed diplomatic ties with Israel, and Chile and Colombia have withdrawn their ambassadors. Yemen’s Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for assaults on Israeli targets, thereby tightening Iran’s involvement in the conflict.

What are the humanitarian concerns raised by agencies working in Gaza?

Humanitarian agencies like Doctors Without Borders have found it difficult to coordinate their activities due to communication blackouts. The overall situation is described as dire, with medical treatments and aid deliveries being severely hampered.

What is the role of Pakistan in the ongoing conflict?

Pakistan’s interim Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar denounced the latest Israeli airstrikes on a refugee camp near Gaza City. He has urged the international community to intervene actively to stop such aerial attacks.

What measures are being taken to treat wounded Palestinians?

Egyptian state-run media have reported that more than 80 injured Palestinians would be transferred from Gaza to Egypt for medical treatment. A field hospital has also been set up in the nearby town of Sheikh Zuweid to assist in medical care.

More about Israel-Hamas Conflict

  • Rafah Border Crossing Explained
  • Telecommunication Blackouts in Conflict Zones
  • Humanitarian Impact of Israel-Hamas War
  • Arab Nations and the Israel-Hamas Conflict
  • U.S. Policy Towards Israel and Hamas
  • Hostage Situations in Armed Conflicts
  • Diplomatic Reactions to Israel-Hamas Conflict
  • Humanitarian Agencies in Gaza
  • Pakistan’s Stance on Israel-Hamas Conflict
  • Medical Aid in Conflict Zones

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RobT November 1, 2023 - 12:36 pm

the hostages part caught my eye. It’s great some are being released but what about the rest? The world needs to act, c’mon!

JohnSmith November 1, 2023 - 2:19 pm

Wow, this situation is so complicated. Can’t believe how many people are caught in this conflict, it’s just heartbreaking.

EmilyD November 1, 2023 - 7:13 pm

Whoa, did you guys see the number of casualties? This is insane and world leaders need to step in like now.

SarahK November 2, 2023 - 1:22 am

I can’t even imagine what life’s like with a communication blackout. I mean, think about it. No way to contact your family, get medical help, nothing. it’s 2023, this shouldn’t be happening.

MikeL November 2, 2023 - 2:49 am

Seems like no one’s hands are clean here. Strikes on refugee camps? Really Israel? but then Hamas isn’t exactly playing nice either. What a mess.


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