Ibrahim al Karnawi went to Gaza a few days ago to visit his family.

The war took him by surprise but he hoped that his Swiss passport would secure him the “exit» from the pouch.

Until now it remains waiting for Rafa.

The Swiss embassy “told us yesterday to come to the Rafah border crossing,” the only exit from Gaza not controlled by Israel, he told AFP.

Earlier, a US official said there was an agreement between Egypt and Israel to openfor a few hours, the passage so that the American citizens could leave.

Along with them, it was hoped that other foreigners might also leave.

But the crossing did not opensays Karnawi.

As the Israeli bombardment of Gaza continues, he has decided not to return to his native Bureij refugee camp, a little further north.

After all, there are no taxis on the streets, so the 77-year-old man looked for a good Samaritan who would accept to host him at his house for the night.

We all slept on the floor, it was freezing. Then one of the residents (of the house) carried me to the crossing in the morning. Half an hour later, we learned that their house had been bombed“, he narrated.

Around him, some thirty people, with foreign passports in hand, are also waiting for the crossing to open, which was bombed three times by the Israeli air force in the last few days.

Karnawi has been living in Switzerland for decades. This was not the first time he had been caught off guard by a war in Gaza while on holiday.

I saw the 2008 war, but it was different. This time it’s genocide,” he assured. “If I can’t get away, I’ll go back to the family house, we’ll all live together and we’ll all die together“, he added.

Said al-Hassi is trying to return to Sweden. He was spending his holidays in Rafa, where his family lives.

Our house is in the east of the city, we all left to the west“, the beaches, he said.

In other countries “where there is peace“, he can use his Swedish passport though “here a passport is worth nothing in the face of bombing and war“, explained.

The crossing remains closed on the Egyptian side, and sources cited by local media said no one would be allowed to leave unless humanitarian aid accumulating in Sinai was allowed to cross into Gaza.

At least if they dropped an atomic bomb on us we’d die faster instead of suffocating in the debris” said Hassi.

Dalia al-Balbisi, a 37-year-old Egyptianfailed to take anything with her when she left her home in the Gaza Strip with her husband, their four children and her mother-in-law.

We haven’t eaten anything since yesterday“, says the old woman, Alia Sakalaz.

We had some crackers, we gave them to the childrenah”, he explained.

At her feet, three small suitcases contain everything she salvaged from her previous life in the Rimal neighborhood of Gaza, of which only ruins remain.