Russia evacuates its citizens from Gaza

January 2nd, 2009 - 8:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Erez Border Crossing (Gaza), Jan 2 (RIA Novosti) Russian diplomats completed Friday the evacuation of Russian citizens from the Gaza Strip, which has been hit by massive Israeli airstrikes since last Saturday. A total of 101 Russian nationals and about 70 citizens of Ukraine, Moldova, Kazakhstan and Belarus have crossed the border safely.

The citizens from Russia and other former Soviet republics, who have been evacuated from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict area, are boarding buses, which will deliver them to Jordan from where special planes of the Russian emergency ministry will fly them to Moscow.

Israel began a massive air offensive on Gaza last Saturday in response to rocket and mortar fires by Hamas militants on southern Israel which have left four Israelis dead.

Tel Aviv has called it “an all-out war” against the Islamic militant group Hamas which controls Gaza. More than 400 Palestinians have so far been killed and over 2,000 injured in the airstrikes.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev earlier instructed the foreign ministry to provide aid to Russians in Gaza and evacuate them if necessary amid Israel’s air offensive on the region.

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