… an initial group of foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens, departed Gaza through Rafah today, and we expect exits of U.S. citizens and foreign nationals to continue over the next several days.United States Department of State Spokesman Matthew Miller in a press briefing on Wednesday announcing foreign nationals, including some Americans, have been able to leave Gaza and enter Egypt. Miller noted the “situation remains extremely fluid,” but that “this has been an important breakthrough.”
Why It Matters: U.S. citizens and foreign nationals, as well as injured Palestinians, were able to leave Gaza on Wednesday, becoming “The first people to leave Gaza — other than four hostages released by Hamas and another rescued by Israeli forces … escaping the territory’s growing misery as bombings drive hundreds of thousands from their homes, and food, water and fuel run low” (The Associated Press). Miller did not provide specific details about how many Americans were able to leave, though noted the State Department is in contact with about 400 Americans “who have expressed a desire to leave”; including U.S. citizens’ family members who also want to leave Gaza, the total number comes to around 1,000 people, Miller said. The AP reports that “dozens” more people left Gaza on Thursday.
Also To Note: Miller announced that Secretary of State Antony Blinken “will travel to Israel and Jordan on Friday,” where he will discuss the war, humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza and the recovery of hostages. This news also comes President Joe Biden suggested a humanitarian “pause” in the fighting.
Transcript and Video: Department Press Briefing – November 1, 2023 (State Dept.)
by Leah Grainery, based in Texas