Egypt-Israel Clash in Rafah – A News Analysis

Egyptian and Israeli Army clashed at the Gaza-Egyptian border. (Design: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Egyptian military and strategic expert, Brigadier General Samir Ragheb, told Al-Jazeera that Israel’s real aim in Rafah is not the Palestinian Resistance but Egypt itself.

These comments came shortly after the news emerged indicating that the Israeli and Egyptian militaries had in fact clashed near the Gaza-Egypt border. 

News on what has taken place remains unclear. While Egyptian media have spoken about the clash between Egyptian and Israeli soldiers, the Egyptian army did not issue any statement till the news became quite known. 

Israeli and Egyptian Armies Clash at Rafah Crossing – Developing Story

Eventually, Cairo announced the killing of an Egyptian soldier who was tasked with securing the border area near Rafah.

The Israeli army also confirmed the shooting, placing a gag order on the details. 

Both militaries have decided to open an investigation, they said in separate statements. 

Philadelphi Route

According to the rules of engagement that have governed that area for years, if an Israeli soldier crosses the Philadelphi Route, an occupied territory separating between Egypt and Rafah, an Egyptian soldier has the right to shoot him. 

This is not General Ragheb’s analysis alone, but rather one of the understood details of the later addendum to the Camp David agreement signed between Egypt and Israel.

According to Israeli Channel 14, indeed the shooting took place inside the Rafah crossing, which is part of the Philadelphi Route. 

The Strategic Importance of the Philadelphi Route to Israel – EXPLAINER

For its part, the Israeli Walla website – known for its affiliation with Israeli intelligence – reported that two Egyptian soldiers were killed in the exchange of fire at the crossing.

While Israel is promoting the idea that it aims to occupy the Philadelphi Route to fight the Palestinian Resistance in Rafah, Ragheb claimed that Israel is simply not telling the truth. His logic is this: while Israel is in fact not deploying a large number of troops at the Philadelphi Route, it is amassing troops in the northern parts of that region, specifically within the Palestinian fence of the Rafah border. 

This means that Israel is fortifying its defenses against Egypt, which has angered Egyptian activists, politicians and ultimately, the military.

Tents Massacre

For eight months, Palestinians have been imploring Egypt, along with other Arab countries, to take action against Israel to end its genocide in Gaza. 

While many countries across the globe, including European countries, have expressed a strong political and legal position, Arab governments did not even go as far as severing diplomatic ties.

‘Blatant Defiance of International Law’ – Israel’s Rafah Attack Condemned

The Israeli action in Rafah, however, complicates the scene between Egypt and Israel, as Egyptian commentators, who are close to the government, have been warning that Israel is crossing the boundaries of Cairo’s own national security. 

Israel occupied the border crossing on May 6, an action that was followed by anti-Egyptian propaganda coming from Tel Aviv itself, accusing Egypt of being the one responsible for the cutting off of aid to the Palestinians. Of course, neither the Palestinians nor the Egyptians – or anyone else for that matter – validated that claim, but it indicated that the extremist government of Benjamin Netanyahu was trying to export its problems in Gaza by roping in another Arab country.

But what could have been the decisive event, which complicates the scene even further, is what is being called the Tents Massacres in Rafah. 

On Sunday night, May 26, as displaced Palestinians in the Rafah area – close to the border with Egypt – were ready to go to sleep, Israeli missiles rained down on top of the encampments. The outcome was one of the most devastating massacres committed against Palestinian refugees in the ongoing eight-month genocide.

‘Heinous Crime’ – Hamas Condemns Israeli Bombing of Displacement Camp in Rafah

Egyptian soldiers, on the other side of the border, must have watched in horror as Palestinians ran away from the inferno. 

Whether that was the spark of the clashes between two sides at the border or not, today’s events at the crossing indicate that the breaking point, at least for the Egyptian military, may have been reached.

Egypt “will not accept what is happening on its borders and no force will prevent anyone from responding,” General Ragheb said. 

This is a developing story ..


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  1. Sadly, I don’t think any atrocity will wake the Egyptian military from its slumber. This is an army built to kill civilian protesters, not fight wars. Truly the Egyptian soldier is a disciplined military man. He has watched 8 months of genocide, reinforced the Egypt-Gaza border with high walls (against Palestinian refugees), and even allowed the genocidal IOF to kill his comrade soldiers…without flinching.

  2. It is time to end the peace treaties between Israel and Egypt and Israel and Jordan. Someone must come to aid the Gazans militarily.

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