Intense diplomatic efforts will continue over the weekend in an effort to secure the release of the remaining Irish citizens still trapped in Gaza.
The Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed 24 Irish citizens and dependants made their way from Gaza to the Rafah Border Crossing into Egypt yesterday, bringing the total so far to 50.
Those who left Gaza on Wednesday arrived in Dublin Airport this morning, including Ibrahim Alagha, his wife Hamida and his children Sami, Eileen and Omar.
Tánaiste Micheál Martin said the Government will “continue to work consistently with the relevant authorities on additional cases where these arise and to assist in instances where other Irish citizens and dependants wish to exit Gaza”.
It is not clear how many Irish citizens and dependants are left in Gaza.
Mr Martin spent Wednesday and Thursday in southern Israel, Tel Aviv, Ramallah and Cairo in talks to allow the remaining Irish citizens to cross the border into Egypt.
Following his visit, he said he is “conscious that many of those who left Gaza over the last few days have been deeply traumatised by their experience”.
“As they return to Ireland in the coming days, they will need all of our support as they begin to restart their lives,” he said.
“I also remain deeply concerned about the situation of hostages in Gaza and call for their immediate and unconditional release.”
UNICEF Ireland's Executive Director Peter Power said they and others still trapped in Gaza have gone through a horrific ordeal.
“This is very welcome news for those who managed to get across the Rafah Border Crossing, but also for their families back here in Ireland who are very concerned for their welfare and safety,” he said.
“They've had to endure a terrible time over the past six weeks, and we wish them well now as they recover from what was really a terrible ordeal.”
Among the released Irish citizens yesterday were the children of Irish-born Palestinian Khalid el-Astal, Ali and Sara.
They were delayed crossing the border due to administrative issues but were last reported by Mr el-Astal to be in Egypt with their uncle, who will bring them home to Kildare.