Israel, Egypt discuss safe Gaza exit for stuck US citzens

Israel, Egypt discuss safe Gaza exit for stuck US citzens

Shafaq News / The U.S. has been engaging in recent days with Israel and Egypt in an effort to create a safe passage that will enable the evacuation of Americans and other foreign nationals from Gaza, according to U.S. and Israeli officials.

There are more than 500 Americans and hundreds of other foreign nationals in Gaza, among them UN workers, members of non-governmental organizations and journalists, according to U.S. and Israeli officials.

The closing of the border crossings with Israel and Egypt, and ongoing Israeli airstrikes, have made it effectively impossible to leave Gaza. An expected Israeli ground operation will make it even harder.

More than 1,200 Israelis and 1,100 Palestinians have been killed and thousands have been injured since the fighting began.

Israel and Egypt agreed in principle to create a safe passage out of Gaza for Americans and other foreign nationals, the U.S. and Israeli officials said.

But they stressed the operational implementation might be very difficult mainly because it will require some kind of ceasefire.

Secretary of State Tony Blinken said on Wednesday that the U.S. is talking to Israel and Egypt about a safe passage.

"It's an ongoing conversation. I can't get into the details. Some of this is, needless to say, understandably complicated," Blinken said before leaving to Israel and Jordan.

Blinken will meet on Thursday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials. He will then travel to Jordan and meet King Abdullah and the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, U.S. officials said.

"We support safe passage for civilians. The civilians are not to blame for what Hamas has done. They didn't do anything wrong, and we continue to support safe passage," National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters Wednesday.


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