MOSCOW, November 28. /TASS/. Russia will carry on evacuating its citizens from the Gaza Strip after the humanitarian pause, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday.
"Evacuation efforts of all countries have been put on hold due to the declaration of a humanitarian pause," Zakharova said. "Evacuations will continue as soon as the humanitarian pause is over."
"However, I would like to stress that the prevailing majority of [Russian] citizens who submitted applications have already been evacuated," she added.
Aliya Zaripova, a spokeswoman for the Russian Mission to the Palestinian National Authority, told TASS earlier that the Rafah checkpoint was still not available for evacuation of foreign citizens from the Gaza Strip due to the humanitarian pause. She added that about 200 Russian citizens and their family members are currently on the waiting list to be evacuated.
Tensions flared up again in the Middle East on October 7 after militants from the Gaza Strip-based radical Palestinian group Hamas launched a surprise incursion on Israeli territory, killing many Israeli kibbutz residents living near the Gaza border and abducting more than 200 Israelis, including women, children and the elderly.
Hamas described its attack as a response to Israeli authorities’ aggressive actions against the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City. Israel declared a total blockade of the Gaza Strip and launched bombardments of the enclave and some areas in Lebanon and Syria, as well as a ground operation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Clashes are also reported in the West Bank.
Hamas announced on November 22 that an agreement on a four-day humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza Strip had been reached through the mediation of Qatar and Egypt. The ceasefire came into force in the Gaza Strip from 7:00 a.m. local time (5:00 a.m. GMT) on November 24.