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19 Nov, 2023 17:37

Moscow provides update on evacuation of Russians from Gaza

The situation at the Rafah Crossing Point remains “difficult” amid continuing clashes, the Foreign Ministry has said
Moscow provides update on evacuation of Russians from Gaza

A large group of Russian citizens and their Palestinian family members arrived in Moscow from Cairo on a special Emergencies Ministry flight on Sunday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. A group of 120 had been evacuated from Gaza amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Hamas militant group.

The evacuees were met at Domodedovo airport by Foreign Ministry officials, who assisted them with all the necessary paperwork required to facilitate their stay in Russia, the statement added.

Russia has been actively evacuating its citizens from the Palestinian enclave over the course of the week. Last Sunday, the first group traveled from Gaza to Cairo through the Rafah Border Crossing into Egypt, which still remains the only way out of the besieged 17-square-mile strip of land.

As many as 558 Russian nationals and their families have been evacuated from Gaza so far. The Russian Emergencies Ministry has already flown 408 of them from Cairo to Moscow, according to the statement. A total of 900 people requested assistance from the Russian authorities in getting out of Gaza.

Various Russian agencies have been providing the evacuees with medical and psychological assistance as they have been crossing into the Egyptian side, as well as offering them food and water, the Emergencies Ministry said last Sunday.

According to the Foreign Ministry, the situation at the Rafah Crossing linking Gaza and Egypt remains “difficult.” Foreign nationals are being evacuated in a “step-wise manner,” the Russian diplomats said, citing “continued hostilities,” as well as the border crossing’s “limited capacity.” 

Russia is taking “all necessary measures,” the ministry added, to facilitate the speedy evacuation of its citizens from Gaza through the coordinated work of its crisis centers and diplomatic missions in Cairo, Tel Aviv, the West Bank city of Ramallah – the seat of the Palestinian Administration – and the capital of Qatar, Doha.

The death toll linked to the Israeli military operation has surpassed 11,000, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. The Israeli operation came in response to a surprise attack by Hamas on Israel on October 7 that claimed the lives of around 1,200 Israelis, mostly civilians.

Russia has repeatedly called for a speedy ceasefire in Gaza. Earlier this week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told RT that the only way to end Israeli-Palestinian violence is through the UN-backed framework of a two-state solution that requires a genuine effort by all parties to implement.