Last Updated: November 14, 2023, 15:27 IST
An Indian woman from Kashmir, seeking immediate evacuation from war-torn Gaza, safely reached Egypt with assistance from Indian missions. Lubna Nazir Shaboo and her daughter Karima crossed the Rafah border between Egypt and Gaza on Monday evening.
“They are in al-Arish (a city in Egypt). Tomorrow morning (Tuesday) they will move to Cairo,” said Lubna’s husband Nedal Toman in a text message to the news agency PTI from Gaza. The Rafah crossing, the only exit route from Gaza, has sporadically opened in recent weeks for humanitarian supplies and limited movement of foreign nationals and wounded individuals.
In a Sunday telephone call, Lubna confirmed her departure and expressed gratitude to Indian missions in Ramallah, Tel Aviv, and Cairo for facilitating it. On October 10, she had contacted PTI seeking evacuation assistance, describing the brutal war in Gaza and the rapid destruction of everything.
Following the October 7 Hamas attack, Israel declared war launching a counter-offensive with the twin objectives of ousting Hamas, which has ruled the coastal Strip since 2007, and freeing around 240 people who were taken hostage by the Islamic faction. “The sounds of bombardment are too scary and the whole house shakes. It is a very, very scary situation,” Lubna said before moving with her family to the southern part of Gaza.
Lubna had mentioned that their “water supply was officially cut off” in the middle of the night of October 9 and they were without electricity, which made them decide to move to the south and seek help in evacuation. She had also said that she hadn’t seen anything like this before and had two families living with them who had to run away after bombardment in the bordering areas of Gaza.
“We are not able to go anywhere because there is no safe place for us anywhere and the Gaza Strip is too small and it is closed from every side. There are no exit points over here,” she said. “I have already asked for help from the Representative office of India in Ramallah to help me get to a safer place along with my husband and my daughter,” she had said in a video message sent to PTI.
(With agency inputs)