No way out for civilians in Gaza, with Egypt’s border crossing closed: In the wake of a devastating surprise attack by Hamas, Israel has unleashed a series of powerful airstrikes in response. It left more than 400,000 people in Gaza fleeing their homes. 1.1 million residents in the northern part of the territory have given a 24-hour to move south to escape.
Tragically, those displaced by the conflict have no way to exit Gaza. As the Egypt-controlled Rafah border crossing remains sealed, and Israel has blocked any alternative routes out of the besieged region. “Nobody can leave Gaza — nobody,” emphasized Bushra Khalidi, a policy lead with Oxfam.
This dire situation has left civilians stranded within the territory, which is home to 2.3 million people. It is geographically surrounded by Israel, Egypt, and the Mediterranean Sea.
1,300 Israeli civilians and soldiers losing their lives
The surprise attack launched by Hamas resulted in over 1,300 Israeli civilians and soldiers losing their lives, with 150 individuals taken hostage. Within Gaza, as of Friday, the Health Ministry reported more than 1,800 casualties as a result of the Israeli response. This count does not include the 1,500 Hamas fighters that Israel claims to have killed within its own borders.
Israel has formally declared war on Hamas, raising concerns of a potential ground invasion of Gaza. To further escalate the crisis, Gaza has been cut off from essential supplies. No way is left to get out for civilians in Gaza. It is including food and fuel, as part of Israel’s strategy to pressure Hamas into releasing the hostages. However, Basem Naim, a former Hamas government minister, has expressed skepticism that any hostage release would occur while Israel’s operations in Gaza persist.
The sole crossing between Egypt and Gaza, located in the town of Rafah, is currently not an option for those seeking to leave the territory. As the conflict continues to escalate, the international community closely monitors the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe. I had left no way out for civilians in Gaza