U.S. Preparing Evacuation of 150 Americans, Their Families Trapped in Gaza

Published January 12, 2009

| FoxNews.com

The State Department is arranging the evacuation of about 150 Americans and their non-American family members who have been trapped in Gaza during Israel's military operations against Hamas militants there.

"The department, the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem are taking the necessary steps to help them depart as soon as arrangements can be made for their safe travel," spokesman Gordon Duguid said Monday. He said those concerned had all asked for assistance.

So far, the department has evacuated 27 people, 16 Americans and 11 non-American family members, from Gaza since the fighting began on Dec. 27. They were taken by convoy to Amman, Jordan on Jan. 2.

The Council on American Islamic Relations said Monday that the Beit Hanoun home of two American children aged 3 and 6 had been hit by Israeli fire over the weekend and urged the department to take immediate action to assist U.S. citizens trapped by the fighting.

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