US families evacuated from Gaza Strip after weeks of waiting

After weeks of waiting, several Americans have been evacuated from the Gaza Strip, where they were trapped when Hamas took control in June. The Council on American-Islamic Relations had petitioned US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice earlier this month to aid in the evacuation of Americans trapped in the region. They were stopped from crossing the border back into Egypt or Israel after Hamas wrested control of the area from the rival Fatah movement. The husband of one of the evacuees, Hossam Bahour, said two buses full of Americans traveled several hours to Israel on Thursday. The American consulate in Jerusalem organized the evacuation, Bahour said. US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said US diplomats and security personnel also had arranged evacuations from Gaza for US citizens in late May and again in June.