The decade's most triggering comedy
A top aide to President Joe Biden said Hamas is impeding plans to evacuate U.S. citizens from Gaza to Egypt as Israeli forces wage war on the group following a terrorist attack in Israel last weekend.
CNN’s Jake Tapper asked U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on Sunday why the Biden administration can’t tell Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi to open the border to let Americans out of the embattled strip.
“We have told President Sisi to open the border to let Americans out. The situation there at the crossing is actually more complicated. The Egyptians have in fact agreed to allow Americans to depart, to get safe passage through the Rafah Crossing,” Sullivan said. “The Israelis agreed to ensure that the area around there would be safe as far as they were able to do so. The question — when we tried to move a group yesterday was actually Hamas taking steps to try and stop that from happening.”
An estimated 500-600 Americans reside in the Gaza Strip, and some who have tried to leave said they were stuck at the border, according to The New York Times. Meanwhile, Israel’s military has urged civilians inside northern Gaza to evacuate ahead of an expected ground offensive, but Hamas reportedly told people to ignore the warning.
Sullivan said the Biden administration is working “around the clock” to ensure that American citizens are able to get through the border crossing.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken “is in Egypt today meeting with the president of Egypt. This is at the top of his list, to help get those American citizens out of Gaza,” Sullivan said. “Anyone who is a U.S. citizen should have the right to free passage through there and then have the U.S. government facilitate their travel home.”
Officials have reported more than 1,300 people in Israel have been killed in the attacks and roughly 3,200 more injured. At least 27 Americans died in the attacks. Dozens of others are believed to have been taken hostage by Hamas, with U.S. citizens believed to be among them.