Spain expects to evacuate 140-170 citizens, relatives from Gaza

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain plans to evacuate between 140 and 170 Spanish citizens and members of their families from the Gaza Strip on Thursday or Friday, acting Defence Minister Margarita Robles told reporters on Thursday.

“Everything is ready in Cairo to go and pick up the Spaniards,” she told reporters in Madrid. “And here in Spain, the air force will (carry out) an air evacuation if needed.”

The people, some of them with dual citizenship, to be evacuated are the ones who had asked to leave earlier, Robles added.

The crossing between Gaza and Egypt opened on Nov. 1 as part of a Qatar-brokered deal between Israel, Egypt, Hamas and the United States, aimed at letting some foreign passport holders and their dependents, and some wounded Gazans, out of the besieged enclave.

(Reporting by Inti Landauro, editing by Andrei Khalip)