Wed 19 Jun 2024 2:28 pm - Jerusalem Time

Israel: The Rafah crossing is not suitable for use due to the destruction of its Palestinian side

Israeli Army Radio said on Wednesday that the Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip is no longer usable after the Palestinians destroyed it completely.

A video clip published by the radio on the “X” platform showed the massive destruction caused by the Israeli army at the crossing, while the main hall appears to have been leveled to the ground, in addition to the destruction of the surrounding buildings.

The radio commented, saying: “This is what the Rafah crossing looks like today. It has been completely destroyed and has become unusable, after the 401st Brigade seized it in one night.”

It added: "Because of its relative proximity to the border, the Israeli army uses the crossing as a stopping and resting point."

On May 7, the Israeli army took control of the crossing, a day after Tel Aviv announced the start of a military operation in the city of Rafah, which was crowded with displaced people, ignoring international warnings about its repercussions.

The humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip have worsened since Israel took control of the crossing, as a result of preventing the entry of aid and halting the movement of sick and wounded people abroad to reduce treatment, as most of the hospitals in the Gaza Strip were out of service.

In this context, Israeli Army Radio indicated that the army “is in good control” of the Philadelphia axis on the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.

“The Israeli army has already begun to think about the Philadelphia axis in the long term, and how to hold on to it for a long time,” she said.

The video shows an Israeli bulldozer demolishing buildings near the Philadelphia axis, and the tents that the displaced Palestinians were forced to leave in a hurry before the Israeli attack on Rafah began.

The radio continued: “Here is a reminder of what existed in Rafah before the Israeli army entered the area: huge tents that were for displaced persons and refugees, which are now still completely empty.”

Regarding the progress of battles in the region, Army Radio pointed out that Israeli soldiers “face a major challenge in Rafah, which is booby-trapped buildings.”

On June 7, the Israeli army completed its control of the Philadelphia axis, days after it took control of the border strip between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.

The Philadelphia Axis, or the Salah al-Din Axis, is a border strip between Egypt and the Gaza Strip that extends within the Strip, hundreds of meters wide and 14.5 kilometers long, from the Kerem Shalom crossing to the Mediterranean Sea.

This axis is part of the border area that is located within the Palestinian territories and is subject to Israeli control according to the “Camp David” peace agreement signed between Egypt and Israel in 1979.

However, the status of this axis was modified according to the “Philadelphia Agreement” that Israel signed with Egypt in September 2005, after its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

Under the agreement, which Tel Aviv considers a security annex to the Camp David Agreement and governed by its general principles and provisions, Israel withdrew from the axis and handed it over, along with the Rafah crossing, to the Palestinian Authority.

750 Egyptian border guard soldiers were allowed to be deployed on the border separating the Gaza Strip with a specific mission of combating "terrorism, cross-border infiltration, smuggling, and detecting tunnels."

In 2007, Hamas took control of Gaza, and the Philadelphia axis came under its control, while Israel imposed a stifling siege on the Strip.

The Israeli war on Gaza, which has been ongoing since October 7, left more than 122,000 Palestinians dead and wounded, most of them children and women, and nearly 10,000 missing amid massive destruction and famine that claimed the lives of dozens of people.

Israel continues this war, ignoring two Security Council resolutions demanding that it stop the fighting immediately, and orders from the Court of Justice to stop its attack on Rafah, and take immediate measures to prevent acts of “genocide” and “improve the humanitarian situation” in Gaza.


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Israel: The Rafah crossing is not suitable for use due to the destruction of its Palestinian side