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Israel takes control of border area between Gaza and Egypt

The Israeli army announced Wednesday having taken control of a buffer zone between the Gaza Strip and Egypt and intensified its attacks. its bombings on the border town of Rafah, which had become the epicenter of the war against Hamas.

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 that Israel was thus seeking to justify 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 continues its offensive in the overpopulated town in the south of the Gaza Strip, launched on May 7 to, according to her, eliminate the last battalions of Hamas.

Street fighting and shelling rocked Rafah on Wednesday, the day after Israeli tanks entered the center of the city.

Israel takes control of border area 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

According to witnesses, heavy fire from helicopters targeted the eastern and central areas of Rafah, supported by artillery fire and smoke grenades.

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

< p>– “Oxygen pipe” –

The army announced that it had taken control “in recent days” of the Philadelphia corridor, a buffer zone of 14 kilometers long inside the Gaza Strip, which borders the Egyptian border.

This corridor is a patrol route that the Israeli army had set up placed along the border before its unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005.

Israel takes control of border area between Gaza and Egypt

Palestinians observe the damage in the camp for displaced people bombed by the Israeli army in Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip, May 27, 2024 © AFP – Eyad BABA

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

He added that the army had “discovered a sophisticated underground terrorist infrastructure east of Rafah with a length of one and a half kilometers about a hundred meters from 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 at the beginning of May.

– “Still seven months” –

Israeli National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi said Wednesday that 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 on October 7 of an unprecedented attack against Israel.

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

Israel takes control of border area 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, including at least 75 in 24 hours, according to the Hamas administration's health ministry.

The war has displaced the majority of the approximately 2.4 millions of Gaza residents and caused a major humanitarian catastrophe.

Israel takes control of border area 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

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

No vote is scheduled while the Council, powerless in the face of this devastating conflict, must hold its monthly meeting on the Palestinian Territories on Wednesday.

The Algerian draft was distributed to the occasion of an emergency meeting of the Council called after an Israeli bombardment on Sunday on a displaced persons camp in Rafah which left 45 dead, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health.

On Tuesday, the Gaza Civil Defense announced that a new strike on a displaced persons camp in Rafah had left 21 dead.

– “I lost two children” –

Israel takes control of border area between Gaza and Egypt

The UNRWA camp for displaced people in Rafah © AFP – Sophie RAMIS, Nalini LEPETIT-CHELLA, Sylvie HUSSON, Paz PIZARRO

Also in the south of the Gaza Strip, three bodies were taken out on Wednesday from the rubble of a house hit by bombing in Khan Younes, according to Civil Defense.

“I lost two of my children, Haydar, eight years old, and Mecca, five years old, my only daughter,” said a tearful Rami Abou Jazar after saying goodbye to his children wrapped in white shrouds.

Israel takes control of border area between Gaza and Egypt

Trucks carrying humanitarian aid seen on the Israeli side of the Kerem Shalom border crossing with the Gaza Strip, southern Israel, May 28, 2024 © AFP – Menahem KAHANA

“What are you waiting for to react?”, launched Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the Muslim world, after asserting that “the spirit of the UN is dead at Gaza”.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says Israel needs a post-war plan as soon as possible. “Without a plan for the day after, there will be no day after. That's what we need, as quickly as possible,” he said Wednesday.

Israel's main political and military supporter, the United States affirmed that it “did not turn a blind eye” to the victims in Rafah but believed that Israel did not launch against this city a “major” offensive likely to call into question their support.

Israel takes control of border area between Gaza and Egypt


“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 from the National Security Council, John Kirby, saying he was awaiting the results of the Israeli investigation into Sunday's bombing.

Brazil, for its part, recalled its ambassador in Israel and will not appoint anyone to this position immediately, a new episode of tensions between the two countries linked to the war in Gaza.

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