In a bid to expedite the return of Egyptian citizens and their families stranded in the Gaza Strip, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs introduced a streamlined online registration service.
This new initiative launched on 9 December 2023, provides a swifter and more efficient process for repatriation, according to Ahmed Abu Zeid, the ministry’s spokesperson.
The dedicated registration link serves as a centralized platform to collect essential data from citizens eager to return to Egypt.
Abu Zeid emphasized the efficiency of this digital process, stating that once approved, the names of the applicants would be promptly forwarded to authorities on both sides of the Rafah crossing – the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.
The primary objective of this approach is to facilitate the smooth passage of Egyptian citizens from the Gaza Strip to Egyptian territories. Abu Zeid underlined the importance of using only the official government link for repatriation, cautioning against non-official methods.
He highlighted the risks associated with alternative channels, urging citizens to be wary of fraudulent practices.
“The Egyptian authorities are committed to ensuring the safe exit of Egyptian citizens and their families from the Gaza Strip, especially in light of the ongoing violent military operations in the region,” stated Abu Zeid.
Since the war on Gaza began on 7 October, Egypt has received thousands of foreigners and dual nationals fleeing the war, as well as providing medical assistance to injured Palestinians in Egyptian hospitals.
The introduction of this online registration service marks a significant step in addressing the challenges faced by Egyptian citizens in the Gaza Strip.
THE CONFLICT SO FAR
After a surprise attack conducted on 7 October by Hamas on a number of southern Israeli towns which resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1,200 people and more than 220 being taken hostage by Hamas, Israel launched a retaliatory bombing campaign against what it describes as ‘terrorist targets’ in the Gaza Strip.
Over 16,015 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip — including at least 7,000 children — and over 41,316 others injured. Meanwhile, at least 259 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank and at least 3,365 have been injured.
The priority of the Egyptian government since the beginning of the conflict has been de-escalation and the securing of a path for aid to enter the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing. Israel bombed the crossing at least six times, and limited aid trucks have crossed to Gaza so far, which UN officials warn is insufficient amid dire humanitarian conditions.
Most Western countries, with the United States at the forefront, have expressed unconditional support for Israel, despite the steadily rising death toll in Gaza. Meanwhile, the United Nations General Assembly has issued a resolution calling for a ceasefire.