Said Khatib Agence France-Presse Palestinians gathered at the Rafah gate in the hope of crossing into Egypt, while Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip continue, on the 14 October 2023.
In a message sent to Western embassies, the Israeli Foreign Ministry indicates that the plan to allow foreign nationals to leave the Gaza Strip through a crossing point to Egypt was canceled on Saturday .
However, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, Mélanie Joly, announced the same day that she had obtained authorization from the Israeli government so that Canadian civilians currently in Gaza could leave the territory.
An official Global Affairs Canada said Friday that Canadians in Gaza may be able to use the crossing to leave the territory for a short period on Saturday.
However, Julie Sunday, Canada's top consular official, warned that there was no guarantee that the plan would come to fruition.
The message from the Israeli Foreign Ministry, seen by The Canadian Press indicates that “the crossing planned for today […] is canceled.”
The message also advised the population to stay away from the area and wait for news information.
Violence in Rafah
“The latest information available to me indicates that there was violence around the Rafah border crossing, and that the operation therefore had to be canceled,” said Minister Joly, during a virtual press briefing, Saturday afternoon. She said she is trying to get more information on the situation, and will speak with her Egyptian counterpart later today.
“I have received authorization from the Israeli government that Canadian civilians who are currently in Gaza can leave,” however, indicated the minister, speaking from Amman, Jordan. Ms. Joly did not indicate when these people would be able to be evacuated.
Authorities announced on Friday that 150 people with a link to Canada, including Canadian citizens, members of their family living abroad and perhaps permanent residents, were in the Gaza Strip.
Minister Joly also said she met with a UN official responsible for humanitarian aid in Gaza to discuss how to set up a humanitarian corridor to help civilians in the territory.
Evacuation of the West Bank on Tuesday
An agreement reached with the Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian authorities will, however, allow Canadians to leave the West Bank by bus. “We think we will be able to start this operation on Tuesday,” said the minister.
Ms. Joly also took stock of her diplomatic trip, during which she went to Israel to “see the human impact” of the Hamas attack on the country.
“Since there was bombing in Tel Aviv, we had to take shelter, our team and I “, said the minister.
She specified that five Canadian Armed Forces planes have so far left Tel Aviv for Athens, Greece, and that a sixth plane was in flight at the time. of the press conference, Saturday afternoon.