WASHINGTON — A handful of US citizens trapped inside the Gaza Strip have escaped into Egypt, marking the first time that civilians have been able to flee the Palestinian territory since Israel's bombardment began more than three weeks ago.
State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said a “number of Americans” crossed into Egypt via the Rafah crossing on Wednesday, and more departures from the Hamas-ruled territory are expected in the coming days.
The State Department is in touch with some 400 US citizens who wish to depart Gaza with their family members, for a total of roughly 1,000 people. Over the past 24 hours, the department has contacted the Americans to inform them of their assigned departure dates.
Citing “operational security,” Miller declined to say whether the US government had assurances that all of its citizens and their families were cleared to leave the besieged enclave.