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Israel Fears Egypt's Aid Will Enter Gaza Without Inspection If Rafah Is Invaded: Israeli Media

11.02.2024 12:42

Army ‘alarmed,’ warns of the possibility of transferring weapons into Gaza, according to Yedioth Ahronoth.

Israel fears that Egypt would bring humanitarian aid into Gaza without Israeli inspection coinciding with its intention to invade the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, the daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Sunday.

"With the end of the offensive operations in Khan Younis and the dismantling of the Hamas brigade there, the Israeli army is preparing for a ground maneuver in Rafah," the daily said.

The mission there is to dismantle four brigades that are considered, according to army estimates, much weaker than those in Khan Younis, but the challenge lies in how to fight while there are about 1.4 million civilians in Rafah, it added.

The daily said Israel "wants to see two things in the near future in the context of the war in Gaza: the first is the hostage deal, and the second is dealing with the Philadelphi axis," pointing out that "Egypt is the link between the two goals."

It also claimed that "contrary to the unnecessary bravado by elements in the political system in Israel, the security establishment reassures and clarifies that the operational activity in Rafah, and certainly if it is in Philadelphi Corridor (demilitarized area between Egypt and Israel under a 1979 treaty), will be carried out in coordination with Egypt and with international support."

"Without coordination with Egypt and US cover, this tactical action may turn into a strategic event that harms the goals of the war," it added.

"There are fears in Israel that a military operation in Rafah, amid Egyptian rejection, will lead to Egypt bringing aid through the Rafah crossing without Israeli inspection," the daily reported.

It pointed out that "coordination with Egypt, which allows Israel to conduct a security inspection of every truck entering the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing, is almost unprecedented, and harming it would harm Israel's security more than Egypt's," adding that the army is "alarmed and warns of the possibility of transporting weapons there."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the army on Friday to develop a dual plan to evacuate civilians from Rafah and defeat the remaining Hamas battalions.

The Palestinians have sought refuge in Rafah as Israel pounded the rest of the enclave following the Oct. 7 Hamas incursion. The bombardment has killed over 28,000 people, besides causing mass destruction and shortages of basic necessities.

*Writing by Ikram Kouachi -



 
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