Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

HUNDREDS of trapped Brits will flee the Gaza strip today as the border opens for the first time since the deadly October 7 attacks.

It comes as Israeli forces claim to have destroyed 11,000 Hamas targets in the region since the war began as their ground invasion continues.

AFP500 foreign passport holders are set to flee Gaza today as Israel continues its ground invasion into the besieged enclave[/caption]

ReutersBritish citizens will be among those fleeing across the Rafah border to Egypt, which has been mostly closed since the war broke out but opened this morning[/caption]

Israeli forces have been pushing Hamas terrorists back in the region as they advance their ground invasion

ReutersIsrael claimed to have destroyed a Hamas stronghold on Tuesday when they attacked a refugee camp[/caption]

ReutersIDF vehicles advance in Gaza as their tanks reach the city[/caption]

The Rafah border (pictured) is the only route out of Gaza not controlled by Israel

The Rafah border, the only route out of Gaza not controlled by Israel, has been opened in a crucial move to allow 500 trapped foreigners to escape into Egypt.

UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly today confirmed Brits would be able to leave through the crossing, which has only briefly been opened for food and aid trucks.

Rishi Sunak previously said around 200 British citizens trapped in Gaza had contacted the Foreign Office in an urgent plea for help ahead of Israel’s ground invasion.

Cleverly today said: “UK teams are ready to assist British nationals as soon as they are able to leave.

“It’s vital that life saving humanitarian aid can enter Gaza as quickly as possible.”

Up to 500 foreign passport holders are expected to flee via the crossing, according to AFP, although reports suggest they may not all be able to leave today.

And 81 injured civilians in Gaza will also be allowed into Egypt to receive medical care, Sky reports.

Recent days have seen Israel ferociously pound the Gaza Strip as the IDF expands its ground operation inside the enclave, which Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu warned would be “long and difficult”.

And on Monday the Israeli military claimed to have blitzed 600 terror targets in a 24 hour firestorm as they push Hamas back.

Footage shows tanks and troops storming the enclave as Israel also wiped out the head of Hamas’ navy in their “second stage” of war.

The IDF, whose tanks have reached Gaza city, said they had destroyed a Hamas “terrorist stronghold” last night when they attacked a refugee camp.

Hamas said the Israeli airstrike took the lives of more than 50 people in the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza.

The IDF claimed it was being used as a base for Hamas terrorists to hide, and said they killed 50 militants in the blast.

The commander of Hamas’s Central Jabaliya Battalion Ibrahim Biari was killed in the strike, they added. 

Israeli forces claimed Biari was one of the Hamas leaders responsible for sending militants to carry out the deadly 7 October attacks in Israel.

Photos of Tuesday’s blast showed neighbourhoods reduced to rubble and streets in ruins after the blast.

Onlookers covered in dust from the remains of fallen buildings were pictured digging through bricks and pulling bodies from the rubble.

“More than 50 martyrs and around 150 wounded and dozens under the rubble, in a heinous Israeli massacre that targeted a large area of homes in Jabalia camp in the northern Strip,” a Gazan health ministry statement said of the strike. 

Hamas had on Tuesday put the death toll in Gaza to date at 8,525.

However, previous Hamas claims of death tolls caused by Israeli strikes have been widely called into question.

Earlier this month, Hamas claimed an Israeli airstrike on a Gaza hospital killed 500.

But Israel has hit back with a furious denial – insisting the devastation was the result of a rocket misfired by Hamas allies Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Israel released its evidence after vehemently denying responsibility for a catastrophic explosion at the Al-Ahli Hospital.

Two Hamas operatives were allegedly recorded saying the rocket was fired by another Palestinian terror group, Islamic Jihad.

Meanwhile, Israeli TV broadcast footage appeared to show a rocket barrage being fired over the hospital from within the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli claims were backed by US President Joe Biden and UK PM Rishi Sunak, and the huge death toll was widely disputed.

Israel continues its bombardment of the besieged territory which Israeli PM Netanyahu warned would be ‘long and difficult’AFP

AFPSome reports suggest not all 500 foreign nationals expected to flee over the Rafah crossing may be able to get out today[/caption]

APAmbulances with people wounded in the Israeli bombing of Gaza arrive at the border crossing with Egypt[/caption]

GettyWhite body bags lined the street following the strike in northern Gaza on Tuesday[/caption]

APSome Palestinian citizens will also be able to flee to Egypt over the Rafah border[/caption]

IDFIsraeli soldiers patrol in the Gaza strip amid their ground invasion[/caption]

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