Biden touts evacuation of 74 Americans with dual citizenship from Gaza

November 3, 2023
Matthew Boose

President Biden announced that 74 Americans with dual citizenship have been evacuated from Gaza following an agreement with Israel and Egypt to allow safe passage out of the heavily bombarded territory. 

The evacuation deal was negotiated with help from Qatar, a U.S. ally with ties to Hamas.

74 Americans evacuated

Thousands of people in Gaza have been killed in Israeli airstrikes following Hamas' brutal October 7 terror attack.

There are still 400 Americans in Gaza who want to get out, and 1,000 people if you include their families, the State Department said.

Americans trapped in Gaza say the administration has been unresponsive.

“I have not received any kind of support,” a 19-year-old Palestinian-American told The Independent. "I have sent so many emails to American consulates in Jerusalem, Istanbul, and even in Cairo telling them we need their help.”

When the war broke out in early October, Biden said Americans were responsible for booking their own commercial travel out of Israel, even as airlines were canceling flights.

Biden has been criticized for his seemingly cavalier grip on the crisis. But at an event Thursday, he took credit for the release of two American women taken by Hamas.

"I'm the guy that convinced Bibi to call for that cease-fire to let the prisoners out," Biden said.

Biden shifts away from Israel

Biden has tried to balance the defense of Israel with concern for Palestinian civilians and the welfare of hostages in Gaza.

There are signs that Biden's initially pro-Israel stance is shifting as he begins to put more pressure on Israel to control its military response. The rising death toll in Gaza has led Biden officials to fear political backlash if Biden is perceived as too favorable to Israel and its operation in Gaza, CNN reported.

The administration is also launching a campaign against anti-Muslim sentiment as Biden's approval tanks with Arab and Muslim voters who feel his response to the conflict has been too one-sided.

In a shift, Biden called this week for a "pause" in the fighting after he spent weeks resisting calls for a cease-fire.

Biden dispatched his Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Israel Friday to relay this demand, which was rejected by Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Israeli leader said Hamas must release all hostages before a temporary truce can be considered.

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