A resident of London, Ontario, said his father was finally able to leave the Gaza Strip by crossing the border into Egypt.
The only land crossing available outside the territory has reopened after a two-day closure.
Dalia Salim said her father and her 66-year-old uncle, an American citizen, were able to cross the border. This was his sixth attempt since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas.
“I’m so relieved, I’m relieved of the biggest weight off my shoulders,” said M.me Salim, during a telephone interview. I am still hurting for my people and my country, but on a personal level I am very happy that my father is safe. »
Gaza Strip authorities announced on Saturday that the Rafah crossing would be opened on Sunday. The General Authority of Borders and Borders has shared the reopening notice on a Facebook page where it also publishes a daily list of foreigners authorized to make the trip.
As of Saturday evening, Global Affairs Canada had already confirmed that 266 Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their families were able to cross the border on Friday, when the latest closure came into effect. He hasn’t posted his daily update yet.
A total of 107 Canadian nationals managed to leave Gaza through the Rafah crossing into neighboring Egypt on Tuesday and Thursday of last week.
Mme Salim said his father retired last year and was spending time in Gaza with his aging mother before war broke out between Israel and Hamas last month. He had tried in vain to cross the border five times before finally getting out on Sunday.
Mme Salim said he wishes his extended family could leave as well, noting that his father felt hurt to leave them behind.
“I know he was a little hesitant to leave because he must have felt very guilty that he is the one who has the privilege of leaving because he has a passport, while everyone else has to endure hunger and living conditions, without access to water or food,” he argued.
The war, now in its sixth week, began on October 7 when Hamas militants stormed into Israel, killing around 1,200 people and kidnapping around 240 others and holding them hostage in Gaza. Israel has responded with daily air and ground attacks, and the Hamas-run Palestinian Health Ministry says the death toll in the territory has exceeded 11,000.
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