GazaPassage’s work to help non-combatants in Gaza entered its fifth Phase in April. Now, rather than focusing its efforts entirely on the nations of the world, GazaPassage has been working with people on the ground in Gaza.

Spokesperson Christopher Bedell made the announcement on Sunday, regarding the groups of Gazans who have been reaching out to GazaPassage seeking to leave Gaza during the war.

“Today, we are unveiling our Pilot program of working directly with the Gazans we have been helping since October.” Whereas the GazaPassage Pledge has helped nations commit publicly to saving lives, it serves as a framework.

“Phase V comes with real people, their names, their passports, and God willing, their transport to safety.”  Bedell noted that he had hinted at the “participatory” nature of Phase V in the Phase IV announcement. Today’s announcement has nothing to do with Iran’s recent attack on Israel, nor Israel’s purportedly imminent incursion in Rafah, Bedell said.

Instead, the demand of Gazans reaching out to GazaPassage via social media (particularly LinkedIn to its International Envoy) precipitated the timing.

“We are starting with 100 non-combatants as part of our pilot. We have been talking to nations in Africa eager to provide a safe haven for visitors from Gaza,” Bedell said.

GazaPassage hasn’t yet selected the country for the Pilot group nor did he call for more volunteers. “The people who want to participate know how to find us. We cannot open it up to all who may want to escaepe to safety until our Pilot works as designed.”

As for the countries that GazaPassage rejects for the Pilot, Bedell assuaged any concern they had, “Even if they aren’t the right fit for our hand-selected Pilot, they can still take the Pledge.”

GazaPassage’s Phase V also includes an announcement of the organization’s continuing role in assisting the non-combatants who leave Gaza. Dubbed the “PPP,”  Bedell said, the “Post-Passage Purpose” is to provide an auditing service to ensure that the Gazans are treated well, in whichever country we select for our Pilot or who takes the Pledge.”

Bedell insisted that GazaPassage will receive no money for any of its services, all of its staff are volunteers, and that even funds for traveling related to its audits will be privately donated separately from the funds required to transport and help the Gazans.

When asked for the identities of the dozens of Gazans who had signed up for the Pilot thus far, Bedell stated that those names are not being released other than by the International Envoy for purposes of safe passage at this time. GazaPassage’s International Envoy, Edward “Coach” Weinhaus, Esq.  refused comment for this article when asked about the ability to help non-combatants leave Gaza and GazaPassage’s parallel prong announced in Phase III. Bedell intimated that the Pilot required immediate action because a Pilot partner nation must be selected in the near term to keep the process of helping non-combatants leaving Gaza moving forward.