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From The New York Times, I'm Michael Bobarrow. This is The Daily. As the Israeli-Palestinian conflict enters its darkest chapter in decades, both sides are evoking the same foundational moment in their past, the events of 1948. Today, a look at the meaningful and reality of what happened that year. I spoke with David Shippler, the author of a book about the conflict, and a Jerusalem Bureau Chief for the Times at a crucial moment in our understanding of 1948. It's Friday, November third. David.






I really want to thank you for making time for us.


My pleasure.




In this.


War between Hamas and Israel, it's feeling extremely important to understand the meaning of 1948, the year when Israel declared itself a nation, was attacked by its Arab neighbors, and waged a war of independence that displaced Palestinians on a large scale. Right now, Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is describing this current war as a second Israeli War of Independence, a second 1948. Palestinians and Gaza are invoking 1948 themselves to describe this current conflict because of the potential for another massive dislocation from their homes.


That's right, yes.


But it feels like for any of these references, these claims and counterclaims to really make sense, we need to understand why Palestinians, why Israelis are invoking this year and what stories they tell themselves about what 1948 means. Then, of course, we need to understand what actually happened that year. David, you arrived in Israel as the Bureau Chief there in the late 1970s. I'm curious, when you took this job, what were the ways that both Israelis and Palestinians talked about 1948?


Well, when I arrived, there were two clashing narratives not overlapping at all.




You go to the Middle East, you see immediately how people are imprisoned by history, especially in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I think of it as an arsenal of memory, that historical events that happen, and we're in the middle of one right now, they get really chiseled in stone in terms of the way people think about themselves and about their adversaries. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is full of these markers of history. 1948 is one of the most important ones, what Israel calls its war of independence and what the Palestinians call Nakba, the catastrophe. I mean, the thumbnail sketch of what happened is that in May of 1948, Israel to translated itself a sovereign state and immediately was attacked by a crecent of five Arab countries, which erupted into that War of Independence, as Israel calls it. That war created the kinds of upheavals that wars do. Every year we can see the clash of historical narratives about this particular event vividly because Israel celebrates a double holiday, and Palestinians mark the event in a different way. Israel has burst a day of remembrance or a memorial day, and it is a somber day. A siren sounds, people pull over to the side of the road, people stop walking in the street, and they stand for a minute or so in honor of the fallen soldiers and those who died in terrorist attacks.


Then the next day is a day of celebration, the celebration of Israel's independence. But on May 15th every year, the Palestinians do what Israelis do on their Memorial Day. They stand in mourning, silently, to remember that event. That is the graphic, dramatic illustration of how the two peoples remember that war of 1948.


We'll describe the two conflicting, contrasting narratives.


The key of the Palestinian narrative is the idea that all of the Arabs who left what is now Israel during the 1948 fighting were deliberately expelled by Israeli forces. The numbers are roughly 700,000, and they fled into neighboring countries. The Israeli narrative for many years, and certainly at the time I arrived, was that no Arabs were actually expelled by the Israeli forces. They left of their own accord either to flee fighting, as people do in wars, or because Arab leaders advised them to leave pending an Arab victory, after which they could return home.




Israeli narrative is one of moral purity because they were fighting for their existence as an independent state against Arab armies. The Palestinian narrative was also one of moral purity, in that they saw themselves as purely victims being expelled deliberately by Israel from land they felt was rightfully theirs.


This is no small dispute, the narrative conflict that you have just described.


No, it goes right into the present. In fact, right now you see many Palestinians who have been urged by Israel to retreat south from Northern Georgia to Southern Georgia, summoning up this idea of displacement and worrying that they're not going to be allowed to go back. It's a current issue, and it translates into a yearning to return on the part of Palestinians.


Right. A sentiment that we have heard over and over in talking to Palestinians in Gaza over the past few weeks.


Yes. I came across this years ago when I was in the Jabbaliyah refugee camp in Gaza, a place which is being pumpsled now by Israeli bombing. I was sitting around with a few guys who were in their 20s, and a kid came in. He was a lanky boy of 12, and somebody asked him where he was from. Now, he had been born in the Jabbalah refugee camp, but he didn't say that he was from there. He said, Barbarit. Barbarit. I said, I never heard of Barbarit. Well, a couple of these guys smiled and explained that it had been an Arab village up the Coast that had been demolished, really, during the 48 war. His parents and grandparents, as it turned out, as we talked more, had left that village more than 30 years before at that point. Yet this kid said that that was where he was from. That brought home to me how alive the yearning to return was and how Palestinian children were being taught that they were from Arab towns that had been emptied or almost emptied. Some had been destroyed. Some had been converted into Jewish towns, places that now, given the circumstance, they could not return because Israel would not let them.


Yet that was the dream, to go back to those places someday and live there again, perhaps in the beautiful way that their nostalgia and the family lore described, where the orchards were more fruitful than probably in reality, where life was more peaceful than anything they had experienced and more prosperous. That was the dream, and it still is. It still lives.


What this boy's answer to your very simple question tells us is not just how ingrained these narratives have become, but how they are passed down generation to generation. Like you said, this boy was not born in that town in Israel. He's probably never even been there. But in his mind, that is the only conceivable answer to the question of what is home.


That's right. It's an idea, and the idea is alive and well and very motivating for many Palestinians.


When you arrive in Israel, are you finding comparable versions of an ingrained narrative there around what 1948 and the birth of Israel looks like?


Absolutely. The narrative of the 48 War was a very noble story from the Israeli standpoint. Jews were refugees from Pagroms and the Holocaust in Europe. They had come to their Biblical land where there had a Jewish presence for thousands of years. They had created a state, and their victory was to be celebrated and to be kept in their history and their memory as a time of great accomplishment with all the moral purity that you could imagine. There was no real questioning in most of the population about the virtue of the 1948 war, and the details of it were all good. They treated the Arabs well. They were nice to them. They didn't force them out. Some places, they even urged them to stay. In Haifa, there's a story about that, that Arabs and Haifa were urged to stay, not to flee, and all of that. That's all part of the Israeli narrative. I remember vividly a convention, a meeting that was in Jerusalem, the first gathering of Holocaust survivors. They've had more since. The theme was to pass the torch of memory to their children. Many of the Holocaust survivors had not talked about their experiences.


The memories were too painful and too ugly to share with their children. They came and their children came, and they did talk with them. They wanted to talk about all their experiences with me, too. As I walked with a tape recorder through the convention hall, they would flock around me, and they would pull me aside. You know what the theme was? That many of them wanted to strike in their accounts. The theme was resistance. We did not just go willingly like lambs to the slaughter. We resisted. Here's how we did it. We carved out our zones of agency, so to speak. That conformed with the Israeli idea-.




1948. -of 1948 to create the state and to resist and to be strong. Jews were no longer going to be massacred, and they were no longer going to be slaughtered. They were no longer going to be gassed and imprisoned. They were going to fight back. They had the weapons, they had the will, they had the strength. We are here. This is where we will stay. We are not going anywhere. This, to me, represents the core of the Israeli-Jewish attachment to that history.


Okay, so these are the two very ingrained, seemingly immovable narratives that you're absorbing in your time in Israel.


Yes, that's right. When I first got there in 1979, I came with a sensitivity to how people can manipulate history. I had been in Moscow for four years where I saw Soviet authorities do that, distort history, to suit their ideological preferences, their political ideas. I got really interested in that whole subject, how kids learned history in their schools, how the media portrayed it. I was tuned in on that. Soon after I arrived in Israel, I got a call from a guy who said he wanted to meet me and talk to me about something. I said, Who is this? He said, I can't say. I said, What's it about? He said, I can't say. I said, I thought I'd left Moscow, where this thing happened all the time. But I did meet with him. His name was Peritsky-Dron, and he turned out to be the translator of Yitzok, Robin's memoir from Hebrew to English. The translator gave me the manuscript, and he was very upset that the censorship committee, to which all former officials had to submit manuscripts, had deleted several paragraphs, which completely changed the Israeli narrative of the 48 War.


Explain that and just put into context who Rubin is.


Well, Yitzok, Rubin had been Prime Minister. But at the time, he was in the opposition. He had a lot of time on his hands, I think, and he wrote this memoir. It was very detailed. It was a good memoir. Rubin was commander of the Haral Brigade of the Haganah, that is the Jewish forces, in the 48 War. And as commander of the Haral Brigade, in his description, he and Yigal-Alan, who was later to become a foreign minister, wanted to know what they should do about the civilian population in these two Arab towns near Tel Aviv, Lorde and Ramlee. They asked David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, What should they do? And Ben-Gurion didn't answer, didn't answer. Then he finally took them outside and made a gesture with his hand as if to say, Drive them out.


In other words, drive them out, expel them, kick them off the land.


That's right. Here's what Ravin wrote. Driving out is a term with a harsh ring. Psychologically, this was one of the most difficult actions we undertook. The population of Lord did not leave willingly. There was no way of avoiding the use of force and warning shots in order to make the inhabitants march the 10-15 miles to the point where they met up with legion, meaning the Arab Legion. Then he goes on and he says, The inhabitants of Ramla, watch and learned the lesson. Their leaders agreed to be evacuated voluntarily on condition that the evacuation was carried out by vehicles. Busses took them to Latrun, and from there they were evacuated by the legion. And, Rabein writes that some of the Israeli soldiers refused to do it.




That psychological counseling had to be done for the Israeli soldiers afterwards because it was such a traumatic experience for them, not to mention for the Palestinians. Now that was a complete reversal of the standard Israeli narrative, which was that at the time, no Arabs were deliberately expelled by the Israelis.


Right. This is a disruption of a very popular, widely-held narrative, not just by some random soldier, but by Yitzak, Rabin.


Yes, by Yitzak, Rabin.


But of course, from what you're saying, this translator tells you that that has been censored out.


Hes said it's been censored out. He gave me the manuscript. Of course, I didn't know the translator and how honest he was, so I figured I needed to confirm this. I called Rabin and I went to see him. I had never met him before. This was the first time I hadn't been in Israel long. I put a tape recorder on his desk and he said, Well, let's do this on background. I said, Fine, but I do have one on-the-record question I have to ask you. I told him about this account that I'd seen in the manuscript. He said, Oh, I can't talk about it. I said, Well, why do you think they cut it out? He said, I don't know. I was surprised. Bingo. I had my confirmation. Then he went on to say with a little sardonic grit, I gave the censors things to do. I wrote about Israel's nuclear weapons, for example, and I knew they'd cut that out, but I was surprised they cut this out.


In a somewhat roundabout way, Rubin confirms to you that he did write this account of expelling Palestinians in the 1948 war, that it was true, but that the Israeli government censored it out, which makes sense given what you just said about how powerful these narratives are.


Yes, that's right.


What did you do with this information?


Well, I wrote a story for The Times and included in it the entire section of the manuscript that had been deleted by the sensor.




Thought, Well, this is going to make a big splash in Israel. There's going to be a lot of comment on this. Israelis are very introspective, and they'll look at this and say to themselves, Wow, this is quite something. I didn't know this. But instead, what happened was it was a muffled response. It was an effort to minimize the possibility that this really happened or to diminish its significance in terms of scope. That is, a couple of towns.


What you're saying is narratives don't easily crumble.


Narratives are very, very firmly embedded in people's need to believe things. But what happened a couple of years later was that the foreign ministry declassified documents from the 1948 war.




Israeli journalist turned historian, Betty Morris, mined those declassified documents in a thorough way and wrote a very significant book detailing the towns and villages from which Arabs were expelled, those from which people just fled of their own accord, perhaps, or to get out of the way of the fighting, all of that. He managed to take the Israeli narrative and inject it with all of the complications and nuances that every war contains. But even though the fact that there were has been now documented, that doesn't mean that the clash of historical narratives has been resolved. Not at all. Not at all. I became very interested in exploring what actually happened during that war.


We'll be right back.


David, once the door opens to a reinterpretation of the narratives around 1948, and we get all this reporting and declassification of documents and a truer version of events emerges. What do you actually understand to have been the accurate story of 1948?


Well, to go back a little bit before 1948 to set the stage, it's important to understand, as Israelis will point out, that there was basically an unbroken Jewish presence in the Holy Land from Biblical times. There were very intense religious communities in Jerusalem, in Hebron, now in the West Bank, in Saffid, in the Galilee. In the late 19th century, more Jews began to come from both Arab countries and from Europe, and also in accordance with a movement, a cause, an idea called Zionism, which was developed as the notion that there should be a Jewish state, independent, strong, on that ancient land. At that time, that area of Palestine, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean, which is the land in dispute, was ruled by the British under a mandate that had been decided on by the League of Nations in the wake of World War I when the Ottoman Empire was defeated.


The predecessor to the United Nations. That's right.


The precursor to the United Nations, the League of Nations. The British ruled Palestine under that mandate. The Jews who came to live in that area in those years, before World War II even, encountered a mixture of reception by Arabs who had lived on that land for generations. They were not newcomers, and they were a mixed group, so to speak. There were Muslims, there were Christians, there were Jews, a religion that keeps its tenants secret. There were Bedouins who are semi-domotic. It was a mixture of Arabs of different affinities and different family lines, and not necessarily identifying themselves with the word Palestinian. That identity, that label developed later. But nevertheless, they were attached to their land, I mean, their birthplaces, their families' birthplaces. When Jews came in from Europe, many of the Arabs saw them as interlopers, aliens, colonialists, as they had seen the British. Even though for Israeli Jews, the notion that they're colonialists or were at the time is very odd and foreign because it wasn't that there were French who were in Algeria who could just go home, or Brits in India who could just go home. That was their home. That was their new home.


They had no other place. Some of the Jews, who were mostly farmers at that point, and they were forming kibbutzim, were trying to find places on what they consider to be empty land. But in some cases, the land was grazing land. It might not have been cultivated, but it was used for grazing for goats and so forth. The very presence was considered somewhat aggravating to some of the local Arabs, and that was not a welcome development from the point of view of many of the Arabs.


There was a Zionist movement, a push for a Jewish state long before World War II and the Holocaust.


Yes, that's right. World War II ended in 1945. Six million Jews had been slaughtered by the Nazis. Many, many others had feared for their lives and become refugees. Internationally, there was a great sympathy for the Jews and for the idea that they ought to have a refuge, a homeland, a natural homeland. According to the Zionists, was in the Biblical lands. In 1947, the United Nations passed a partition plan, dividing that land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River into two states, an Arab state and a Jewish state.


Take this British-controlled land and basically give some to these Jews who were there, and some to the Arab population that was there.


That's right. Exactly. If you look at the boundaries of that partition plan in 1947, it looks like a gerrymandered congressional district, but they basically followed the lines of the Jewish population in the area. They left out of the Jewish state areas that were mostly Arab, but there was mixture on both sides. There were certainly Arabs in the parts that were designated as a Jewish state. What happened then was that the Jewish forces accepted the partition plan, and the Arabs did not. The Arabs within the area rejected it, and Arab countries rejected it. The Jews accepted this partition from what I've read in history because they felt fairly weak militarily and figured this was as good as they could get, and they were going to get a state. I think there was a sense that the Arab countries thought that they were superior militarily and could easily defeat this rtag-tag army that was getting its weapons from Czechoslovakia mostly. They did not get any weapons from the United States, by the way, at that time. The was trying to stay out of it. It had a little skeleton of an air force, but it wasn't going to be much of a foe, a real opponent.


They could get rolled over. I think that was probably the assumption at the time. Also there was just, from inside, too, the local Arabs didn't want this Jewish state either because they were interlopers. They were Europeans coming in, foreigners, not indigenous to the land, and therefore had no real right there. They were not accepting of that. In May of 1948, the time at which the mandate by the British was to end, the British withdrew and Israel declared its independence and then was attacked.




Yes, that's correct. Arab armies from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia too, which sent a unit under Egyptian control, attacked, and the 1948 war began.


What happens once the Arab neighbors of this new nation of Israel attack?


There was a lot of fighting, and the fight went on from May of 1948 until early in 1949. The Israelis turned out to be stronger than the Arabs thought they would be. They were effective enough to defeat the Arab armies and roll them back and actually expand the boundaries of what became Israel beyond what the partition plan had provided. Now, what they didn't get at that time was the Gaza Strip, which was in the hands of Egypt. That remained in Egyptian hands. They didn't get the West Bank of the Jordan River, which was in the hands of Jordan and remained so until the 1967 war. They also didn't get all of Jerusalem.


David, now that we're not just speaking about narratives, but about established historical facts, what happens to the Arabs on the lands that are in question during this period when Israel is achieving these victories against these Arab countries?


It's true that an estimated 700,000 Arabs left what is now Israel, and they did so for a variety of reasons. Some fled the way people do in war, which is just to avoid the fighting, and some fled because Arab leaders told them to get out pending a victory by the Arab forces, after which they could come back. Some were expelled deliberately, as we now know, by Israeli forces. Some fled because they were afraid that they would be massacred. There were massacres of civilians by Israeli forces. The most infamous was Der-Yassin, a village right on the outskirts of Jerusalem. That was known before the declassification of Israeli documents. But once those documents became available, Benny Morris found about two dozen places where civilians were massacred. That scared a lot of other Arabs who've heard about it. Even where there was no violence or demands that they leave, people fled because they were afraid that the Israeli forces coming in would massacre them.


Right, right.


Those are the reasons, the basic reasons. What the Palestinian narrative has done is to put all of the departures in the category of deliberate expulsions. That is an exaggeration. But all the other reasons that people left don't really lessen the pain that has been passed down generation to generation by the Palestinians, which still animates their cause and fuels their desire to return.


Not only did Israelis expel Palestinians despite the narrative that they didn't, some Israelis participated in the killing of Arab civilians during this conflict.


Yes. When all this information is disclosed from these declassified documents in the archives, it reveals that the Israeli myth is just that. It's a myth, and it's very sanitized. By the way, the Palestinian myth is also a myth. You have this clash of narratives, which you can also call clash of myths.


Right. To that.




When we think about that Palestinian narrative, that claim inherited through many generations that the 700,000 Palestinians who left Israel were expelled from their homes during the creation of Israel. The story you're saying is more nuanced. It's more complicated than that. In part because Israel was attacked and attacked back and there's an open war. Like you said, some Palestinians are leaving for fear of that war. Some are leaving because they are being expelled. Some are leaving because they fear that they could be expelled, or worse, mass occurred. There's no doubt that all forms of that dislocation have to be wrenchingly painful. But in a conflict where the details matter and are constantly being litigated, the historical record, from what you're saying, makes clear that not all 700,000 Palestinians were expelled forcibly by Israel as a matter of policy. It might be more accurate to say that many of these Palestinians had to leave their homes as a result of a war.


I think that puts it very well. There are lots of reasons that people left. The war at the core of it, of course, and it's pretty ugly war. It's terrible things happen, and they did in 1948. Now, in some places, they were allowed to come back, but most of the Arabs who left or were driven out during the 48 war were never allowed to return to their homes inside what is now Israel. It's probably worth noting also that many Arabs did not leave and stayed in Israel, and now they and their descendants make up about 20% of Israel's population.


David, at the end of the 1948 war, when Israel emerges victorious, what does the world look like for both of these people, Israelis as well as Palestinians, who have, through a combination of expulsions and flight, are not on their lands?


Well, at that point, Israel was trying to build up their resilience and build up their economy and fulfill their dream of building a Jewish state. It wasn't just Palestinians who were displaced. Many Jews living in Arab countries were expelled by those countries and fled of their own accord sometimes. Most ended up in Israel, and the results of that population shift are seen in Israel today, where at least half of the population are now descended from Jews who lived in Arab countries.


And the Palestinians?


Well, the Palestinians were scattered into a diaspora in many countries around the world, but the bulk of them, at least at first, ended up in refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, which controlled the West Bank at the time, and in the Gaza Strip, which was under Egyptian control. That diaspora, so to speak, which ended up in the refugee camps, is still conscious of its origins and has passed down through the generations the story of displacement.


David, why wasn't there a creation of a Palestinian state after Israel's victory? Because there are still these people who had been promised through the partition, a country just as the people of to come to Israel, hoping to promise a country. Why didn't a Palestinian state emerge in the aftermath of this war?


Remember that this was a war not between the Palestinians and the Israelis. This was a war between Arab countries and the new state of Israel. At the end of the War of 48, armistice agreements were signed that established the borders of Israel. What wasn't Israel was Arab states. There was no talk that I'm aware of, of creating a so-called Palestinian state. I don't know that the concept was in the conversation at that point. Through the years, despite lip service given to the Palestinian cause by Arab leaders, their interest in supporting that cause has been, aside from being rhetorical, has really been wanting. The Palestinians were not accepted as citizens, by and large, in the Arab countries where they fled. Palestinians have been victims of the Arab world as well as of the Israelis.


What is life like for these Palestinians as refugees in the period after the war?


The population was very impoverished. The refugee camps began as pent camps. They're still called camps. Although that's a misnomer, they've become established slums. The poverty rate is still fairly high. It's very difficult for Palestinians to have a comfortable and prosperous life when they're confined to the camps. Lots of Palestinians have left the camps, and they've been able to emigrate to various countries in Europe, the United States. Those folks are doing better. But it's not so easy to get the visas. It's not so easy to accumulate the money to make that change. There's an ideological resistance to doing it, too. I remember at one point when I was there, Israel wanted to build housing outside refugee camps in Gaza. The local Palestinians rejected the idea vehemently because they thought it was an effort to undermine their status as refugees to basically do what's now called normalize the occupation.




A whole history of attempting to keep alive the idea of displacement, the refugee status, and the yearning to return.


From the Israeli point of view, the idea of return for these Palestinians represents what?


A threat to the existence of the Jewish state for two reasons. One, the Jews would be outnumbered by the Arabs in the voting roles. Right now, if you take the West Bank and Gaza and Israel proper altogether in East Jerusalem, the population division is about even maybe even slightly tipped toward the Arab side. In an open, pluralistic, fair, free democracy, Arabs would outvote Jews. That's one issue. The other is the security concerns. We've just seen it in the Hamas attacks, where Israeli Jews were attacked in their homes, in their kibbutzim. The notion that lots of Palestinians would be allowed to come in and live inside Israel terrifies Israelis.


David, we've spent.


A lot of time here trying to understand narratives and reality. But the more time you spend understanding 1948 and the context surrounding it, it seems the thing that becomes very clear is that Palestinians and Israelis emerged from it with a strong claim to being victims. Israelis are victims of Arab countries seeking Israel's destruction at the moment of its birth and the forces of anti-Semitism that led to the Holocaust and in the minds of so many Israelis, necessitated Israel in the first place. Palestinians are victims of the war that results from Israel's creation, including Israeli tactics that forced many of them from their homes, and later, by the rejection that Palestinians faced from their Arab neighbors. The fact that Israel won the war and Palestinians and their allies lost doesn't really change their view of themselves as victims.


Exactly right, Michael. Exactly right. They are both victims. I remember an Israeli telling me once, When you put two victims together, it's like mixing fire and kerosene. Neither side recognizes the other's victimhood. Although you have to say that there are some Israelis who do see the Palestinians as victims, even of the 48 war, after the declassification of documents showing that there were expulsions of Arabs, that fact worked its way into some Israeli textbooks at the university level and then also at the secondary school level to an extent. I think Israelis have come to see that there were such expulsions and there were injustices, but that has not overcome the sense of great pride and accomplishment in creating the state through that war of independence. There are some Palestinians who see Jewish victimhood, but when they speak publicly about it, they get themselves into trouble. There was a professor at Al Kud University in Jerusalem who used to teach a course on the Holocaust to Palestinian college students. He actually took them to visit Ashfitz, and he got them to see Jews as victims and understand the historical roots of their arrival in this place, this holy land.


What happened to him? He was threatened, and ultimately he was fired. The obstacles to seeing the other and recognizing what the other has gone through are immense. They're immense. We have here a conflict between two peoples who are victims of each other, but not only of each other, also of the larger world.


Right, it. In this case, how you understand the conflict and how you understand the whole question of victimhood, depends very much on where you start the clock, where you think the story begins.


Exactly right.


David, thank you very much. We really appreciate it.


Thanks for listening.


We'll be right back. Here's what else you need to know today. Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the doomed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, was convicted on all charges of fraud and conspiracy on Thursday after a month-long trial that exposed the hubris and risk taking across the.


Crypto industry.


The conviction puts Bankman-Fried in league with the biggest financial fraudsters in history. Overall, his victims lost nearly $10 billion in funds, and he now faces a sentence of up to 110 years in prison. And on Thursday, the Israeli military said it had encircled Casa City and was waging close quarters combat with Hamas as they push forward with what Israeli officials have predicted will be a long and bloody ground invasion. Meanwhile.


Good morning from Rafa. I just arrived to the crossing. They're going to start calling people. I know my name is on the list, but I don't know when I will enter.


The evacuation of foreign nationals and wounded Palestinians from Gaza into Egypt, entered its second day on Thursday. Among those leaving was Wafa El-Saka, the subject of a daily episode on October 16th. When the war broke out, El Saka, an American citizen who had grown up in Gaza, became trapped in Gaza, where she was visiting family.


I'm glad that I'm going to go and meet with my grandson and my husband and my boys and their wives.


At 1:30 PM local time on Thursday, she crossed into Egypt, then boarded a minivan with other Americans, bound for Cairo.


I don't know how I feel. I left my whole family behind. I needed my help, but I couldn't help them. But I need to go to my other family, too. I don't know why we have to choose.


Today's episode was produced by Will Reed and Ricky Nowitzki, with help from Rob Zibco. It was edited by Paige Coward, with help from Lisa Chao. Fact-checked by Susan Lee, contains original music by Alisha Butetube, Dan Powell, Marion Lasano, and Sophia Landman, and was engineered by Chris Wood. Our theme music is by Jim Runberg and Ben Landburg of Wonderly. Special thanks to Sir J. Schmeiman, Jody Rudorn, Stephen E. E. And Clyde Haberman. That's it for The Daily. I'm Michael Bobarrow.


See you on Monday.