Authorities in the Gaza Strip said Saturday the Rafah land crossing between the war-torn territory and Egypt will reopen on Sunday after being closed for the two previous days as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pushed back against growing international calls for a ceasefire.
The announcement about the border was shared on a Facebook page on which the General Authority for Crossings and Borders posts a daily list of foreigners cleared to make the journey.
It said in the post only those on the list will be allowed to cross.
That list had not been updated as of Saturday night, but Global Affairs Canada previously confirmed that 266 Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their families had been cleared to cross the border as of Friday.
The border has been closed since then, however, leaving all stranded in Gaza amid a deteriorating humanitarian situation and escalating fighting between Israeli troops and militants from Hamas, which controls the enclave.
Also on Saturday, Netanyahu said in a televised address that a ceasefire would be possible only if all 239 hostages held by militants in Gaza are released.
“The war against (Hamas) is advancing with full force, and it has one goal, to win. There is no alternative to victory,” he said.
Global Affairs did not provide any updates on Saturday and did not respond to multiple requests for information on the status of Canadians still trapped in Gaza.
On Thursday, the department hinted at the possibility of Canadians being among those captured by Hamas in the brazen Oct. 7 attack in Israel although it has refused to say exactly say whether Canadians were among the hostages, an effort to avoid complicating the overall rescue effort.
Ottawa refers only to “two Canadians who are missing” in the region, citing privacy considerations.
In Gaza, a total of 107 people with connections to Canada have managed to leave Gaza via the Rafah crossing so far.
Some of those Canadians reached Canada last week, while others remain in Cairo; Egypt allows foreigners to stay 72 hours in the country.
More than 11,070 Palestinians, two-thirds of them women and minors, have been killed since the war began, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza, which does not differentiate between civilian and militant deaths. About 2,700 people have been reported missing and are thought to be possibly trapped or dead under the rubble.
At least 1,200 people have been killed in Israel, mainly in the initial Hamas attack, Israeli officials say. The military on Saturday confirmed the deaths of five reserve soldiers; 46 Israeli soldiers have been killed in Gaza since the ground offensive began.