“And to date, at least, Hamas has blocked them from leaving, showing once again, its total disregard for civilians of any kind who are- who are stuck in Gaza.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Margaret Brennan on Face the Nation that Hamas has blocked the almost 600 Americans from leaving Gaza.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We’ll stay tuned. In terms of what’s happening in Gaza. I know there are an estimated 500-600 Americans there. There are only two ways out. One is through the Rafah gate to Egypt. It does not appear any Americans have made it out that way. There’s also another Erez Crossing into Israel. Is there any chance Israel lets some of those Americans out or Egypt allows some of those Americans in?
SECRETARY BLINKEN: We have- you’re exactly right. We have several hundred Americans and other nationalities, other civilians from- from other countries who want to leave Gaza. We’ve had people come to Rafah, the crossing with Egypt. And to date, at least, Hamas has blocked them from leaving, showing once again, its total disregard for civilians of any kind who are- who are stuck in Gaza. This is something that we’re working, again, virtually every single day. We have in the- right now in the region on the ground, one of our most experienced diplomats, David Satterfield, working with the different governments concerned with- with Israel, with Egypt, to make sure that we’re ready to be able to get people out, assuming Hamas lets them move. So really, the ball is in Hamas’ court, in terms of letting people who want to leave, civilians from third countries including Americans get out of Gaza.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Just to be clear, you’re saying Hamas is preventing Americans from leaving Gaza?
SECRETARY BLINKEN: That’s correct.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And there are no US personnel who are able to help on the ground?
SECRETARY BLINKEN: We have U.S. personnel on the other side of the border in Egypt, consular personnel who can immediately help and assist those Americans who want to leave. We’re working this very, very actively every day, including with partners who may have influenced connections with Hamas that we don’t have, to make sure that people can get out. So we’re tracking this. We want to make sure it happens.
.@SecBlinken says Hamas is preventing Americans in Gaza from leaving through the Rafah border crossing into Egypt.
"To date, at least, Hamas has blocked them from leaving, showing once again, its total disregard for civilians of any kind who are stuck in Gaza," Blinken says. pic.twitter.com/kShZMbiQV0
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) October 22, 2023
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