Egypt prepared on Wednesday for wounded Gazans and some foreign passport holders to start arriving by crossing the Rafah border, after Qatar negotiated an agreement between of Egypt, Israel and Hamas to allow limited evacuation from the Gaza Strip.
A first group of injured evacuees entered Egypt in ambulances, Egyptian media and a border source reported at around 0935 GMT.
Israel responded with a total blockade of Gaza, heavy bombardment, and a ground operation after Hamas fighters attacked southern Israel on October 7.
A Palestinian border authority source and two Egyptian security sources said 81 wounded would enter Egypt for treatment on Wednesday.
In addition, up to 500 foreign passport holders will pass through the Rafah border crossing on Wednesday, an Egyptian security source said, adding that about 200 people are waiting on the Palestinian side.
A second source with knowledge of the deal said there was a list of up to 500 people who left Gaza, but not all of them were expected to leave on Wednesday.
Medical sources in the Sinai region of Egypt, bordering Gaza, reported that a field hospital with four tents, each with 20 beds, and 12 medical caravans was set up in Sheikh Zuweid, 15 km from Rafah.
Hospitals in Sheikh Zuweid and Al-Arish, a town a little further away, are also preparing to admit Gazan patients, with the most difficult cases expected to be sent to Ismailia, the sources said. as
A border source said 40 ambulances were at the border crossing to participate in the evacuation operations.
In addition, 70 aid trucks are in the Rafah area, undergoing the necessary screening process before being allowed to enter Gaza under an existing agreement with Israel.
In the Hamas attack in southern Israel on October 7, about 300 soldiers and 1,100 civilians were killed, according to Israeli figures, and more than 200 hostages were taken.
At least 8,525 Palestinians, including 3,542 children, have been killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Strip Health Ministry.
The Egyptian-controlled Rafah border crossing is Gaza’s main entry and exit point from Egypt and is in a region heavily controlled by the Egyptian army, which is fighting an Islamist insurgency there mainly since 2013 and which is now largely suppressed.
As Egypt is wary of insecurity near the Gaza border, only people who have obtained security clearance from Egyptian authorities are allowed to approach the Rafah border crossing.