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Border clash erupts between Egyptian and Israeli soldiers, injuries and deaths reported

Monday 27, May 2024, {HMC} Egyptian and Israeli troops reportedly clashed on Monday at the border with the Palestinian city of Rafah.

Egyptian soldiers stationed on the border with the Palestinian Rafah City had reportedly fired shots at Israeli army troops, with unconfirmed news that at least seven Israelis were injured, and one Egyptian soldier killed, amid growing tension between Egypt and Israel.

A security source told The New Arab that the Egyptian military, following the incident, had stepped up security in and around the border crossing, in Egypt’s North Sinai province, seized by Israel earlier this month.

The high-level source, who talked to TNA on condition of anonymity for not being authorised to brief the media, did not elaborate further, but said, “Israeli soldiers returned fire and then fired warning shots before fleeing the scene.”

No further details were immediately available at the time of publication, but unconfirmed reports said Israeli troops had reportedly withdrawn from the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing.

The Egyptian military, meanwhile, has neither officially confirmed nor denied the incident.

Despite a technical state of peace with Israel since the late 1970s, the Egyptian public has been at loggerheads with their country’s successive regimes over normalisation.

Diplomatically and commercially, Cairo treated Israel as a friendly country with strong ties in several areas, but tensions have skyrocketed after Israel launched its war on Gaza last October.

The growing diplomatic spat between the two countries further dipped after Israel had pushed ahead with its ground invasion of Rafah despite pleas from Egypt, the US and others to not invade the border city where around 1.4 million Palestinians from elsewhere in Gaza have been sheltering.

The Israeli attack on Rafah, which had kicked off earlier this month, worsened an already dire situation in besieged Gaza following the closure of the Rafah Border Crossing in North Sinai.

The Rafah crossing with Egypt is located along the Salah Al-Din (Philadelphi) corridor, a buffer zone controlled by Egypt.

Alongside the Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing with Israel, Rafah is a key lifeline for humanitarian aid to enter the Gaza Strip, which is now facing catastrophic levels of hunger according to the UN.

Monday’s shooting is believed to have been triggered by the Israeli airstrike on a “safe zone” displacement camp at a late hour on the previous day, killing at least 40 people, some burned alive.

 

Multiple missiles smashed into a displacement camp northwest of Rafah, also injuring many others who were sheltering in tents near a UNRWA warehouse.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society warned that hospitals in the area were struggling to manage the casualties.

But Israel claimed the attack killed two Hamas officials and said the “incident was under review” after admitting it was “aware of reports” of civilian casualties.

Similar border incidents had erupted over the past months, including one that took place in June last year, when a 23-year-old Egyptian soldier was shot dead after he crossed into the border with Israel and killed three Israeli troops.

SOURCE Newarab

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