US continues to monitor situation involving trapped doctors in Gaza: State Department

'We believe that there is more that can be done here,' says spokesman

13:47 - 15/05/2024 Wednesday
File photo
File photo

The US continues to monitor the situation involving a group of international doctors, including Americans, who are trapped in the Gaza Strip after the Rafah border crossing was closed, the State Department said Tuesday.

"Certainly, this isn't a border crossing that we control," spokesman Vedant Patel told reports, saying Washington is "directly" engaging with the Israeli and Egyptian governments to advocate for their safe departure.

"We believe that there is more that can be done here and this is just another example of why it is so crucial and important that the Rafah border crossing be open, not just for the appropriate flow of humanitarian aid but also for the safe departure for foreign nationals," said Patel.

He noted the agency's Level 4 warning not to travel to Gaza because the region is "in armed conflict.".

"Given the fact that it is a region in armed conflict, the security environment within Gaza is extremely dangerous and volatile," added Patel.

More than 20 US doctors are trapped in Gaza due to the closure of the Rafah border crossing into Egypt by Israel after Tel Aviv invaded the region, according to reports.

The medical team was supposed to depart Monday after a two-week rotation at the European Hospital in Khan Younis, the Washington Post reported.

Last week, the Israeli army invaded the eastern area of Rafah, seizing control of the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing with Egypt, effectively closing Gaza's only gateway to the outside world and blocking fuel, food and water from entering, resulting in severe dehydration for the general population and the doctors on the mission.

7 days ago