Palestine: A new group of 45 Hispanic-Palestinians and family members leaves Gaza | International

Palestine: A new group of 45 Hispanic Palestinians and family members
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A total of 45 people (several Spanish-Palestinians and their relatives) are leaving Gaza this Monday through the Rafah crossing, as confirmed by government sources. This is a small group that did not join the group of 143 Hispanic-Palestinians who were evacuated from the Strip last week and arrived at the Torrejón de Ardoz base (Madrid) on Thursday afternoon in an Airbus 330 of the 45th Army Group. of Air and Space.

Among the new evacuees, whose departure has been authorized by Israel and Egypt, with the approval of the Sunni Hamas militia, which controls the Strip, there are five citizens with Spanish passports, while the rest are their relatives or those repatriated. last week. The sources consulted explained that some of those leaving now did not decide until the last minute to request their evacuation, which is voluntary, while others did not yet have the required authorization from the parties when the previous evacuation took place.

The Consulate General of Spain in Jerusalem prepared a list of 140 citizens with Spanish passports trapped in Gaza due to the current escalation of war, which began on October 7 with the attack by Hamas against Israel, but warned that the number could reach 170-190 counting their relatives. With those from this Monday and the 143 who finally left last week, those evacuated to Spain total 188 in total.

The new group – in which there is a good number of minors and elderly people – crossed the Palestinian customs control this morning and it is expected that throughout the afternoon or night they will be able to overcome the Egyptian one, which is the most complicated, they added. the same sources.

The new evacuees, like the previous ones, will stay in hotels in Cairo. The operation has been organized by the reception team prepared by the Spanish Embassy in the Egyptian capital, until their transfer to Spain. Foreign Affairs and Defense are analyzing the possibility of sending a military plane to pick them up, as last week, although if in the end it is a small number (some of those who have left Gaza choose to remain in Egypt) they could be accommodated in commercial flights.

The Spanish Government ended the evacuation operation of its nationals from Gaza on Thursday, but left the door open to carrying out new evacuations if more requests were submitted, as has been the case. The Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, thanked the work of the Spanish embassies in Tel Aviv (Israel) and Cairo (Egypt) and the Consulate General of Spain in Jerusalem; as well as the governments of Egypt, Israel and Qatar, the latter for acting as an intermediary with the Hamas authorities, with which Spain has no relations. For her part, the Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles, extended her gratitude to the soldiers of the Air Force and the agents of the National Intelligence Center (CNI) who collaborated in the operation.

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