U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday that Hamas, which runs Gaza, is getting in the way of U.S. efforts to evacuate its citizens from Gaza to Egypt as combat between Israel's IDF forces and Hamas intensifies in the strip of land following the terrorist attack last weekend.
Speaking to Tapper, Sullivan explained why the Biden administration couldn't command Egyptian President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi to open the border to let Americans out, explaining that the situation is more complicated than it looks like.
“We have told President Sisi to open the border to let Americans out. The situation there at the crossing is actually more complicated," he said. "The Egyptians have in fact agreed to allow Americans to depart, to get safe passage through the Rafah Crossing."
"The Israelis agreed to ensure that the area around there would be safe as far as they were able to do so," he added. "The question — when we tried to move a group yesterday was actually Hamas taking steps to try and stop that from happening.”
According to the New York Times, around 500 to 600 Americans live in the Gaza Strip, and some who have tried to leave were turned away at the border.
An estimated 27 Americans have died in Hamas' attacks on Israel, and dozens more are believed to have been taken hostage.