A British doctor who escaped Gaza with his family has been sent back to the war zone after Egyptian officials told him his name wasn’t on the list of evacuees, according to a British Member of Parliament.
Dr. Ahmed Sabra was in Gaza when Israel declared war on Hamas following the militant group’s October 7 attacks, said Geraint Davies, the local MP for Swansea West in Wales, where Sabra lives and works as a National Health Service consultant.
Davies shared video and voice notes Sabra recorded as he made the perilous trip with his wife and children to the Rafah crossing, where they had hoped to cross into Egypt and find safety before returning home.
But Davies said while Sabra’s family was allowed through, he was not on the approved list of foreign nationals.
“I’m calling for the British government to do their duty and evacuate myself and other British nationals to safety to go back home,” he added.
“He’s now been dumped on the street by the UK without shelter, 10% [phone] charge, and little data in a bomb zone. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone,” Davies said.
“He needs the help of the FCDO [Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office] to get him home from danger with his family and wants the UK to do everything in its power to secure his safety.”
In the video and voice messages, the doctor said he and three other British nationals waited for two and a half days at the border for the British embassy to intervene.
Davies said Sabra was provided with food, drink, and a sofa to sleep on while he waited, but he was eventually sent on a bus back to Gaza.
He said Sabra told him he was in “daily contact” with the British Foreign Office and British embassy in Egypt before he was sent back to Gaza.
“This involves submitting all details of British nationals and eligible dependents to the Israeli and Egyptian authorities. The authorities then review all cases and give permissions to cross.”
The statement said that the office is in contact with British Nationals in Gaza and UK teams are sent to the border to receive anyone allowed to leave.
It made no mention of Sabra’s case.
More than 4,800 people signed an online petition as of Friday to call for the British authorities to speed up efforts to evacuate Sabra.
The British Islamic Medical Association said in a statement on Thursday they “demand urgent evacuation of Dr Sabra and other British nationals trapped in Gaza.”
More than 150 British nationals have left Gaza for Egypt via the Rafah crossing, according to British Foreign Office minister Andrew Mitchell.