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US urges Americans in Gaza to relocate near Egypt’s Rafah crossing for safety. (14 words)

US Government Advises Citizens in Gaza to Move South Amid Humanitarian Crisis

The U.S. government has urged its citizens in Gaza to relocate toward the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, in anticipation of its potential reopening. This recommendation comes in response to the recent Hamas attack in Israel, which prompted Israeli military retaliation and exacerbated the existing humanitarian crisis in the coastal enclave.

Collaborating with Egypt, Israel, and Qatar, Washington aims to facilitate the opening of the Rafah crossing to allow Palestinian-Americans to exit the area. Although efforts have been made to establish a five-hour window for the crossing to operate, it remains uncertain whether Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group, will grant access.

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As the designated opening time approached, U.S. officials were unable to confirm whether any American citizens were able to leave Gaza. Consequently, the State Department spokesperson emphasized the importance of U.S. citizens assessing their safety and potentially moving closer to the Rafah border crossing, despite the limited notice and duration of its potential opening.

With an estimated several hundred dual-citizen Palestinian-Americans residing in Gaza, the U.S. government seeks to ensure the safety of its nationals amidst the ongoing conflict.

U.S. Secretary of State Engages in Diplomatic Efforts

During his extensive trip to the Middle East, Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan in Riyadh. The primary focus of Blinken’s discussions with regional allies is to prevent the Israel-Hamas conflict from escalating into a larger-scale war and to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas.

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Blinken also had a phone conversation with China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, requesting assistance in containing the conflict and preventing its further spread. This marked the first high-level contact between Washington and Beijing since the recent Hamas attack, occurring amidst escalating tensions between the two powers on various fronts.

Protecting Civilians and Ensuring Humanitarian Aid

In light of the conflict, Secretary Blinken emphasized the vital importance of safeguarding civilians on both sides. Collaborative efforts are underway to establish safe areas within Gaza and create corridors for the delivery of much-needed humanitarian assistance.

Blinken expressed a shared commitment to alleviate the suffering of civilians, regardless of their location, be it in Israel, Gaza, or elsewhere. The U.S. government aims to work together with its allies to protect the well-being of all affected individuals.

According to the Saudi Foreign Minister, the immediate priority should be to prevent further civilian suffering. He emphasized the challenging humanitarian situation in Gaza and stressed the need for cooperative efforts to ensure the unhindered access and distribution of relief goods.

Following his meeting in Riyadh, Secretary Blinken proceeded to the United Arab Emirates, where he is scheduled to meet with President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Later in the evening, he is expected to return to Riyadh, potentially holding a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

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