Medical Evacuation from Gaza to Egypt Amid Progress in Israeli-US Relations

Scores of sick and injured Gazans were allowed into Egypt on Thursday, marking the first medical evacuations since the travel crossing into Egypt was shut down in May.
Israeli forces moved into a Gaza City neighborhood Thursday and ordered Palestinians to move south in an operation described as the final stages of fighting against Hamas militants. (Representational Image: Unsplash)
Israeli forces moved into a Gaza City neighborhood Thursday and ordered Palestinians to move south in an operation described as the final stages of fighting against Hamas militants. (Representational Image: Unsplash)

Scores of sick and injured Gazans were allowed into Egypt on Thursday, marking the first medical evacuations since the travel crossing into Egypt was shut down in May.

Sixty-eight people – 19 sick and injured children and their companions – crossed into Egypt in an evacuation coordinated with officials from the United States, Egypt and the international community, according to the Israeli military.

Twenty-one cancer patients from Gaza were being transported to the United Arab Emirates for treatment, according to Agence France-Presse. It was unclear if the 21 cancer patients were part of the 68 people evacuated.

More than 25,000 patients in Gaza required treatment abroad and that the route from the Kerem Shalom crossing into Egypt was no substitute for the Rafah crossing, which directly connects Gaza to Egypt.

Mohammed Zaqout, who heads Gaza’s hospitals, said more than 25,000 patients in Gaza required treatment abroad and that the route from the Kerem Shalom crossing into Egypt was no substitute for the Rafah crossing, which directly connects Gaza to Egypt.

Israeli operations

Israeli forces moved into a Gaza City neighborhood Thursday and ordered Palestinians to move south in an operation described as the final stages of fighting against Hamas militants.

At least seven people were killed in Shijaiyah, according to the Palestinian Civil Emergency Service.

Shijaiyah residents told Reuters they were surprised when they heard tanks and drones firing in their neighborhood. More casualties were expected because some civilians were trapped under rubble and rescue teams couldn't immediately reach them.

Israel’s military said Thursday that one of its soldiers was killed and another seriously wounded during an operation in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

The operation took place in Jenin where witnesses reported an improvised explosive device detonated.

Israeli forces have carried out regular raids in Jenin and other parts of the West Bank as part of an effort the military says is aimed at disrupting terrorist activity. The raids have continued throughout Israel’s offensive against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, with Israel reporting it arrested more than 1,700 Hamas members in the West Bank.

The Israeli military also said Thursday that it conducted airstrikes in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis.

Water supply agreement

UNICEF said Thursday that Israel agreed to boost the water supply in Gaza by restoring power to a desalination plant in southern Gaza.

“UNICEF confirms an agreement was reached to re-establish the medium-voltage power line for the Southern Gaza Desalination Plant,” a UNICEF spokesperson told AFP.

Water scarcity has become an issue in Gaza, with more than two-thirds of Gaza’s sanitation and water facilities damaged or destroyed since the war broke out in October.

When the plant resumes operations, it will produce enough water to meet humanitarian standards of a minimum of 15 liters of drinking water a day per person for almost a million displaced people in southern Gaza, according to AFP.

US aid

Israeli defense chief Yoav Gallant on Wednesday said “significant progress” had been made in allaying Israel’s concerns about the flow of U.S. weapons to the Jewish state.

The raids have continued throughout Israel’s offensive against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, with Israel reporting it arrested more than 1,700 Hamas members in the West Bank. (Representational Image: Unsplash)
The raids have continued throughout Israel’s offensive against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, with Israel reporting it arrested more than 1,700 Hamas members in the West Bank. (Representational Image: Unsplash)

“Obstacles were removed, and bottlenecks were addressed, in order to advance a variety of issues, and more specifically the topic of force buildup and munition supply,”

Gallant

“Obstacles were removed, and bottlenecks were addressed, in order to advance a variety of issues, and more specifically the topic of force buildup and munition supply,” Gallant said after meeting at the White House with Jake Sullivan, President Joe Biden's national security adviser.

Earlier in the week, Gallant had met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

The U.S. is Israel’s chief arms supplier, but in recent weeks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had complained about what he said was the slowed pace of deliveries over several months. White House officials said they were baffled by Netanyahu’s remarks.

A White House statement said Sullivan “reaffirmed President Biden’s commitment to ensure that Israel has all it needs to defend itself militarily and confront its Iranian-backed adversaries,” Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.

Israel's counteroffensive in Gaza has killed more than 37,700 Palestinians, mostly civilians but including thousands of combatants.

The war in Gaza was triggered by last October’s Hamas attack on Israel that killed 1,200 people, according to Israeli officials, and led to the capture of about 250 hostages. Israel's counteroffensive in Gaza has killed more than 37,700 Palestinians, mostly civilians but including thousands of combatants, according to the territory's health ministry.

The war in Gaza was triggered by last October’s Hamas attack on Israel that killed 1,200 people, according to Israeli officials, and led to the capture of about 250 hostages. (Representational Image: Unsplash)
The war in Gaza was triggered by last October’s Hamas attack on Israel that killed 1,200 people, according to Israeli officials, and led to the capture of about 250 hostages. (Representational Image: Unsplash)

Red Sea attacks

Maritime security firm Ambrey said Thursday that a merchant ship reported being struck by a projectile in the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen.

Ambrey said there were no reports of damage or casualties from the attack.

The Yemen-based Houthi militant group later claimed responsibility for the attack. The group has been conducting similar attacks on vessels in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden during the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

The Iran-backed Houthis say their campaign is being conducted in solidarity with the Palestinians.

(VOA/TAB)

Israeli forces moved into a Gaza City neighborhood Thursday and ordered Palestinians to move south in an operation described as the final stages of fighting against Hamas militants. (Representational Image: Unsplash)
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