In a rare moment of acknowledgment, President Biden praised the evacuation of U.S. citizens and foreign nationals escaping the war-torn Gaza territory through the Rafah border crossing into Egypt. This marks the first time the crossing has opened since the October 7 terrorist attacks on Israel. The president, speaking in Minnesota, credited the success to the intensive and urgent American diplomacy efforts with regional partners.
Biden hails departure of U.S. citizens – https://t.co/y7LNZSWkuD
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) November 1, 2023
With a touch of optimism, Biden revealed that the evacuees were just the beginning. Thousands of foreign nationals, including American citizens, are expected to flee Gaza in the coming days. However, due to the lacking transparency of U.S. officials, the exact number of Americans who were able to escape remains unknown. It is also unclear how many of the roughly 400 U.S. citizens believed to be trapped in Gaza will have the opportunity to cross the border.
The first group of evacuees managed to make it to Egypt on Wednesday, seeking refuge from the escalating humanitarian crisis caused by relentless Israeli airstrikes. The destruction inflicted on Gaza City’s densely populated refugee camp was reminiscent of scenes from a Hollywood action film. Al-Jazeera’s footage captured the horrific aftermath, underscoring the urgent need for humanitarian assistance. In the midst of this chaos, President Biden pledged to provide ongoing aid to support innocent civilians trapped in Gaza, an area controlled by notorious terrorist organization Hamas.
Despite showing sympathy towards the people of Gaza, Biden also asserted that Israel has the fundamental right to protect its citizens from terrorism, a sentiment in line with international humanitarian law. The president emphasized the need for Israel to prioritize citizen protection in its defense efforts. As the situation in Gaza unfolds, the United States aims to strike a delicate balance between humanitarian aid and supporting its key Middle Eastern ally.