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Israel considers deploying security personnel on Egypt’s Rafah crossing

December 14, 2023 at 11:17 am

Israeli soldiers, tanks, howitzers and armored vehicles are seen as Israeli military mobility continues on the Gaza border, in Nahal Oz, Israel on December 13, 2023 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli authorities are looking into the possibility of deploying Israeli security personnel on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing, under the pretext of ensuring that members of the Hamas movement do not “escape” or “smuggle” Israeli prisoners of war out of Gaza.

According to Israel’s Channel 12, these security measures which have been requested by Israel are the subject of discussions and a security coordination process taking place at the present time between the Egyptian and Israeli sides.

This comes as Israeli reports indicate that the Israeli occupation army is monitoring the Philadelphi (Salah Al-Din) axis, located between Egypt and the besieged Gaza Strip, under the pretext of working to thwart possible attempts of “Hamas leaders to escape or smuggle hostages to Egypt.”

The Israeli Broadcasting Authority Kan 11 highlighted the “fear” in Tel Aviv that “senior Hamas officials would escape through the tunnels of the Rafah area to Sinai with the hostages, and reach a country that would accept them, such as Iran, Yemen, or Lebanon.”

An Egyptian source familiar with the talks with the Israeli side confirmed that “Israeli officials hinted at plans to do so, under the pretext of preventing resistance factions from building tunnels in that area and preventing the smuggling of weapons into the Gaza Strip.”

The source told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper that “officials in Cairo responded to the arguments made by Israeli officials by saying that the relevant Egyptian agencies are doing their duty to the fullest extent with regard to these concerns.”

He stressed that “Egypt demolished all the tunnels in that area.”

READ: Planning for a buffer zone between Gaza and Israel: Netanyahu