Egypt strengthens its border with Gaza as Israel continues attacks

Trending 3 weeks ago

Egypt has sent astir 40 tanks and armored unit carriers to northeastern Sinai wrong nan past 2 weeks arsenic portion of a bid of measures to bolster information connected its separator pinch Gaza, 2 Egyptian information sources said.

The deployment took spot up of nan description of Israeli subject operations astir Gaza's confederate metropolis of Rafah, wherever overmuch of its organization has sought safety, sharpening Egyptian fears that Palestinians could beryllium forced en masse retired of nan enclave.

Israeli warplanes struck Rafah, which adjoins nan border, connected Friday and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered nan subject to hole to evacuate nan displaced people.


Since nan warfare betwixt Israel and Hamas erupted connected Oct. 7, Egypt constructed a actual separator wall that reaches 6.6 yards into nan crushed and is topped pinch barbed wire. It has besides built berms and enhanced surveillance astatine separator posts, nan information sources said.

Last period Egypt's authorities accusation work elaborate immoderate of nan measures it had taken connected its separator successful consequence to Israeli suggestions that Hamas had obtained weapons smuggled from Egypt. Three lines of barriers made immoderate overground aliases underground smuggling impossible, it said.

Images shared pinch Reuters by nan Sinai Foundation for Human Rights, an independent group, look to show nan installation of nan wall successful December, pinch respective berms moving down it.

Later pictures, which nan group said were taken successful early February, look to show 3 vertical layers of coiled barbed ligament being installed connected apical of nan wall. Reuters was not capable to independently verify nan images.

Satellite images from January and December besides show immoderate caller building on nan 13 km (8 mile) separator adjacent to Rafah and nan hold of a wall to nan sea's separator astatine its bluish end.

Egyptian and Israeli authorities did not respond to requests for comment.

The caller measures travel aft an description of information successful bluish Sinai arsenic Egypt's subject consolidated its grip against an Islamist insurgency that escalated a decade ago.

Well earlier nan existent warfare successful Gaza collapsed out, Egypt said it had destroyed tunnels done which smuggling to Gaza had antecedently flourished, and had cleared a buffer area adjacent to nan border.

On nan attack to nan Rafah Crossing pinch Gaza, nan remains of razed houses tin beryllium seen on pinch miles of actual walls that person been built parallel to nan oversea and adjacent roads adjacent to nan border.

Egypt and Israel have been astatine bid for much than 4 decades and successful caller years person extended ties done Israeli exports of earthy state and information coordination astir their shared separator and nan Gaza Strip.

The 2 countries person maintained a blockade connected Gaza, strictly limiting nan activity of group and equipment crossed its borders, aft Hamas took power location successful 2007.

But nan narration has travel nether strain because of Israel's existent subject cognition successful Gaza, unleashed successful retaliation for an Oct. 7 onslaught connected Israel by Hamas.

Egypt has many times raised nan siren complete nan anticipation that Israel's violative could displace hopeless Gazans into Sinai, while bristling complete suggestions from Israel that it would retake afloat power of nan Gaza-Egypt separator corridor successful bid to guarantee nan Palestinian territory's demilitarization.

In January, Egypt announced 2 operations to tackle supplier smuggling successful northeastern Sinai successful an evident effort to show its power of nan area.

An Israeli charismatic told Reuters that restructuring of information connected nan border, wherever he said a mini number of tunnels remained, was nether regular chat by nan 2 countries.

Israel would effort to shape for nan activity of displaced Palestinians northwards wrong Gaza up of immoderate subject cognition there, nan charismatic said.

Egyptian information sources person played down immoderate discussions and said they are prioritizing efforts to scope a ceasefire successful Gaza. The authorities accusation work called accusations of smuggling "lies" intended to springiness screen to Israel's nonsubjective of occupying nan separator buffer zone, known arsenic nan Philadelphi Corridor.

Egypt has besides blamed Israel for limiting deliveries of assistance into Gaza, wherever nan consequence of famine is increasing and assistance workers person warned of illness spreading.

Israel has denied holding up aliases rejecting humanitarian supplies.

Egypt has framed its guidance to nan displacement of Palestinians from Gaza arsenic portion of wider Arab rejection of immoderate repetition of what Palestinians mourn arsenic nan "Nakba", aliases "catastrophe", erstwhile immoderate 700,000 fled aliases were forced from their homes successful nan warfare surrounding Israel's creation successful 1948.

Diplomats and analysts opportunity Egypt is besides concerned astir infiltration by Hamas and hosting a ample exile population. In October, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi warned that displacement could move Sinai into a guidelines for attacks against Israel.