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Israel says it has taken control of the buffer zone between Gaza and Egypt

The Israeli army continues Thursday despite its attacks. critics of his offensive on Rafah after having claimed the day before having taken control of a strategic buffer zone between the Gaza Strip and Egypt located at proximity of Rafah, the new epicenter of its war against Hamas.

In Beijing for a China-Arab countries forum, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi did not comment on the buffer zone but called on Thursday to prevent any displacement of Gazans “by force”. Chinese President Xi Jinping called for the organization of an “extended peace conference” to end the conflict, saying that justice should “not be absent forever”.

Israeli national security adviser Tzachi Hanegbi said the war could continue for “another seven months” in order to achieve the goal of destroying Hamas, in power in Gaza since 2007 and author October 7 of an unprecedented attack against Israel.

In parallel with Gaza, the Israeli army deployed soldiers on Thursday in different towns in the occupied West Bank after a “vehicle attack” which it said killed two young Israeli soldiers near Nablus.

During the night from Wednesday to Thursday, the Palestinian Red Crescent denounced the death of two of its rescuers in a “direct strike” by the Israeli army against the one of its ambulances in the western sector of Rafah.

In Gaza, the army claimed to have discovered “around twenty tunnels” in the border sector, which it suspects of being used for smuggling for armed groups in the Palestinian territory.

Egypt has denied the existence of tunnels under the border, saying Israel was looking thus justifying its offensive in Rafah against the Palestinian Islamist movement.

Despite international outrage over Sunday's deadly bombing of a displaced persons camp in Rafah, the Israeli army is continuing its offensive in the overpopulated town in the south of the Gaza Strip, launched on May 7 to, according to it, eliminate the last Hamas battalions.

On Wednesday, street fighting and bombings shook Rafah, the day after Israeli tanks entered the center of the city .

In Khan Younes, three bodies were taken out on Wednesday from the rubble of a house hit by a bombing, according to the Palestinian Civil Defense. “I lost two of my children, Haydar, eight years old, and Mecca, five years old, my only daughter,” testified Rami Abou Jazar in tears, after saying goodbye to his children wrapped in white shrouds.< /p>

In three weeks, around a million Palestinians, according to the UN, have fled Rafah, most of them displaced persons pushed into a new exodus towards already overpopulated areas of the besieged territory.

– “Oxygen pipe” –

Israel says it has taken control of the buffer zone between Gaza and Egypt

Israeli army tanks are positioned in an area of ​​Israel's southern border with the Gaza Strip, May 29, 2024. © AFP – JACK GUEZ

The army announced that it had taken control “in recent days” of the Philadelphia Corridor, a 14-kilometer-long buffer zone that borders the Egyptian border along the southern Gaza Strip, near Rafah.

“The Philadelphia corridor served as an oxygen pipe for Hamas, through which it regularly transported weapons to the Gaza Strip,” said the army spokesperson Israeli Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari.

He added that the army had “discovered a sophisticated underground terrorist infrastructure east of Rafah with a length of 'a kilometer and a half to a hundred meters of the crossing' between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

This border post, the only crossing point between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, vital for the delivery of humanitarian aid, has been closed since the Israeli army took control of it at the beginning of May.

– “Still seven months” –

This attack resulted in the deaths of more than 1,189 people, mostly civilians, according to a count carried out by the AFP based on the latest official figures available.

Israel says it has taken control of the buffer zone between Gaza and Egypt

A photo taken from Israel's southern border with the Gaza Strip shows destruction in the Palestinian territory, May 29, 2024 © AFP – JACK GUEZ

Of the 252 people taken as hostages during the attack, 121 are still detained in Gaza, of whom 37 have died according to the army.

In retaliation, Israel vowed to annihilate Hamas, which it considers a terrorist organization along with the United States and the European Union, and launched an offensive that has so far left 36,171 people dead in the Strip. of Gaza, according to the Hamas administration's Health Ministry.

The war has displaced the majority of Gaza's approximately 2.4 million residents and caused a major humanitarian disaster.

Algeria presented a draft resolution to the UN Security Council on Tuesday demanding an “immediate” ceasefire and an end to the Rafah offensive.

< p>And in a telephone interview with the President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas, Emmanuel Macron “underlined France's determination to work with Algeria and its partners in the Security Council” of the UN “to that he expresses himself strongly on Rafah”.

The Algerian project was distributed on the occasion of an emergency meeting of the Council convened after a bombing Israeli forces on Sunday on a camp for displaced people in Rafah which left 45 dead, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health.

– American bombs –

According to the New York Times and CNN, which rely, among other things, on an analysis of images of munitions debris, the Israeli army used American GBU-39 guided bombs equipped with an explosive charge of approximately 17 kilos.

Israel says it has taken control of the buffer zone between Gaza and Egypt

A neighborhood destroyed by Israeli bombings in Khan Younes in the south of the Gaza Strip, May 28, 2024 © AFP – Bashar TALEB

“The Israelis said they were using (in Rafah) 37-pound (about 17 kilo) bombs,” “37 pounds is not a big bomb,” the carrier said. word of the National Security Council, John Kirby, saying he was awaiting the results of the Israeli investigation into the bombing.

Main political and military support for Israel, the United States- United affirmed that they “did not turn a blind eye” to the victims in Rafah but believed that Israel had not launched a “major” offensive against this city likely to call into question their support.

For US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Israel needs a post-war plan as soon as possible: “Without a plan for the day after, there is no will not have a day after”, he warned.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116