Egypt is continuing to keep its border with the Gaza Strip closed to Palestinians attempting to flee the Israeli bombardment of the territory, completing the construction of its concrete wall in the process.
Since the start of the Israeli aerial assault on Gaza which began after an offensive operation by the Palestinian resistance group last Saturday, Egypt closed its Rafah border crossing with the strip as many of its residents fled to the south of the besieged territory.
Then, earlier this week, The New Arab outlet cited a senior official Egyptian security source as saying that the Egyptian military “indefinitely” closed it due to the situation having “become quite dangerous after the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip has had an impact on the Egyptian side of the crossing”.
According to images and reports circulating online, Egyptian authorities have now taken further steps to strengthen and reinforce the crossing by installing high concrete barriers on its side of the border.
— Sinai for Human Rights (@Sinaifhr) October 14, 2023
Cairo began its construction of a concrete wall along the border with Gaza back in 2020, but it seems that it has now become incentivised to complete or reinforce it due to the exodus of Palestinians from the north of the Gaza Strip to the south, many of whom reportedly intend to cross into Egypt in order to seek refuge from the ongoing Israeli bombardment.
Not only is the closure preventing Palestinians from escaping the bombardment, but it is also obstructing efforts to provide urgent aid supplies to the strip, with aid convoys and flights continuing to arrive in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula with relief supplies for Gaza while a diplomatic efforts to open humanitarian corridors into Gaza have yet to produce results.
Although the Egyptian government and military control the Rafah border crossing, an agreement with Israel stipulates that any supplies entering the besieged territory from the south require approval from Tel Aviv.
This week, Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi further insisted on ruling out the entry of Palestinians into Egypt’s territory, saying that the Gazans should “stay steadfast and remain on their land”.