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695 people in Gaza seek evacuation to Turkey: ministry

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The Turkish Foreign Ministry has announced that 695 people in the Palestinian enclave of Gaza, 322 of whom are Turkish citizens, have requested that Turkey ensure their evacuation from the city in the wake of ongoing Israeli attacks.

Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmet Yıldız spoke at parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday about the ongoing conflict between the Palestinian militant group Hamas and Israel.

He said 214 of those asking Turkey to evacuate them from Gaza are Palestinians who are relatives of Turkish citizens, 104 from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) and 55 Turkish civil servants, including state media and health ministry personnel.

Yıldız did not give any information on when the evacuations are planned to take place.

Turkey’s Defense Ministry announced on Thursday that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) are ready to take on responsibilities for both humanitarian aid and evacuation in Gaza in line with directives to be given.

The conflict started when Hamas fighters carried out an unprecedented surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7.

The Islamist group launched thousands of rockets from Gaza and crossed the border with hundreds of militants, prompting Israel to retaliate by pounding Gaza.

Hamas has killed over 1,400 Israelis, including 289 soldiers, and is holding 203 people hostage, according to official figures, while the Gaza Ministry of Health said more than 3,785 people had been killed in Gaza since the outbreak of the conflict.

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