Spanish-Palestinian Citizens Begin Exodus from Gaza to Egypt Amidst Conflict
Historic Departure Amidst Crisis
In a significant development amid the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, the first group of Spanish-Palestinian citizens have commenced their departure from the besieged Gaza Strip, making their way toward Egypt. This news came from the Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares, who confirmed the movement during a foreshadowing Council of Foreign Ministers of the European Union in Brussels.
Crossing the Rafah Checkpoint
Minister Albares provided details regarding the exit process, explaining that the individuals were able to cross the initial Palestinian checkpoint and were in the process of crossing into Egypt. Despite the extensive controls that made the passage time-consuming, the clearance from Israeli authorities was granted on November 12th, requiring coordination and double authorization from both Israel and Egypt.
In the words of Albares, “Today the first Spanish-Palestinian citizens have finally begun to pass through, I can confirm that (…) they have already crossed the first Palestinian checkpoint and are doing the procedures to cross the Egyptian checkpoint.”
He assured everyone, “For now everything is going well and we hope it ends equally well,” indicating a smooth process for the moment.
Humanitarian Considerations and International Response
Since November 1, the pathway has been open for foreign nationals and those wounded in the recent conflicts to leave through the Rafah checkpoint, which is the sole border crossing between Egypt and Gaza. Spanish workers affiliated with international organizations have also been exiting Gaza for several days.
The Minister’s report comes against the backdrop of brutal military engagements that began on October 7 when Hamas launched a large-scale missile attack from the Gaza Strip and made an armed incursion into southern Israel. This prompted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to declare the nation in a state of war. In retaliation, the Israeli Army activated 360,000 reservists and initiated a severe aerial bombardment campaign followed by ground operations aimed at dismantling Hamas infrastructure and liberating hostages.
Since October 9, Israel has imposed severe restrictions, cutting off basic supplies to Gaza, and urging civilians to relocate to the south where international aid is slowly trickling in through the Rafah crossing.
The international community’s response has mostly been in the form of calling for a ceasefire and advocating for a two-state solution, increasingly seen as the only feasible path to enduring peace in the region.
An Exposed Rift in Global Politics
Amid the turbulence, a Russian diplomat to the UN cited the Gaza war as evidence of Western double standards, pointing to broader geopolitical tensions and the complex dynamic of international relations that affect the conflict intermediation.
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