Biden says US citizens start to leave Gaza
November 1, 2023 10:56 PM
President Joe Biden said US citizens would begin evacuating from Gaza on Wednesday, as hundreds of injured residents and foreigners left the war-torn Palestinian territory.
"Today, thanks to American leadership, we secured safe passage for wounded Palestinians and for foreign nationals to exit Gaza," Biden said on X, formerly Twitter.
"We expect American citizens to exit today, and we expect to see more depart over the coming days. We won't let up working to get Americans out of Gaza."
US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby confirmed that some American citizens were scheduled to leave Gaza on Wednesday as the evacuation plan develops.
"This is an important first step in a process that we expect to see continue over the coming days. The situation remains very fluid. But this is a significant breakthrough," he told reporters.
"I think you'll see more over coming days. A handful of Americans are expected to depart today.
"The State Department has communicated directly with American citizens in Gaza over the past 24 hours to tell them to be ready to go and to await further instruction."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed victory over Hamas, whose brutal October 7 attack sparked the latest conflict, the deadliest in decades of unrest between the two sides.