100 Swedes may leave Gaza tomorrow

Another 100 Swedes will have the opportunity to leave Gaza tomorrow. At the same time, the Foreign Ministry expects that only about ten of the 80 Swedes who were on the list today have crossed the border.
– We will not succeed in getting all 80 out, says Svante Liljegren, head of the consular unit at the Foreign Ministry to TV4 Nyheterna.

80 of the roughly 500 Swedes who are in Gaza today had the opportunity to cross the Rafah border crossing. The Foreign Ministry states that another 100 Swedes have the opportunity to cross the border tomorrow.

The reason why not everyone managed to get over the Rafah border crossing is partly due to the fact that the Foreign Ministry is unsure whether the information has reached everyone concerned.

– We know that there are those who are stuck and cannot move for safety reasons, and we know that they are the ones who have refused, says Svante Liljegren.

Getting to the border crossing, and then meeting staff from the Swedish embassy in northern Sinai in Egypt is something you have to do at your own risk.

– This is because we have no opportunity to help Swedes inside Gaza. We can’t get in and we can’t give the support we would like, says Svante Liljegren.

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Pay for the plane ticket yourself

According to Svante Liljegren, the selection for the places allocated to Sweden is based on humanitarian reasons. A bus journey to Cairo then awaits in northern Sinai.

You have to pay for the plane ticket home to Sweden yourself, but the Swedish embassy can help. If you cannot afford it, it is possible to borrow money from the state.

The Foreign Ministry has been criticized for taking a long time to evacuate Swedes, when other countries have already succeeded. A decision that does not depend on Sweden, says Svante Liljegren.

– It depends on a difficult situation where several parties own the border crossing.

“No delay”

According to Svante Liljegren, many Swedes are in Gaza, if you compare with other countries.

– It may have been a slowing factor for us. But there is no question of any delay, it is a difficult operation that must take time.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expects that more Swedes will have the opportunity to pass the border crossing in the near future and continues to urge people to keep an eye out for contact attempts and not to go to Rafah if you are not on the list.