Egypt 'sends protest letter to Israel' over takeover of Gaza's Rafah crossing

Egypt 'sends protest letter to Israel' over takeover of Gaza's Rafah crossing
Egypt has protested Israel's military takeover of the Rafah border crossing, warning that it could reconsider its mediator role in the Gaza war.
2 min read
08 May, 2024
Israel took control of the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt on Tuesday [Anadolu/Getty]

Egypt has reportedly sent Israel a letter of protest over its military takeover of the Rafah crossing and the Philadelphi buffer zone in southern Gaza.

An Egyptian source, who spoke with The New Arab's sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, warned that Israel's actions and intransigence could prompt Egypt to reconsider its role in mediating Gaza negotiations in the coming period.

Cairo also called on Israel to abide by agreements, including those regarding the Rafah border crossing and the Philadelphi corridor, also known as the Salah al-Din corridor, a buffer zone along the Egyptian border with Gaza

Egypt said it would be forced to search for alternatives to Rafah to bring aid into Gaza.

Israel took control of the Rafah crossing on Tuesday, raising fears for the fate of the more than 1.4 million people seeking refuge in the overcrowded area.

"The scenes published by the Israeli army of the corridor, the Rafah crossing gate, and the raising of the Israeli flag caused a state of anger in the Egyptian leadership," Al-Araby Al-Jadeed's source said.

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Egypt, along with Qatar and the US, has been mediating talks to secure a ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

Sources told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that Egypt was notified ahead of the Israeli attack on Rafah, and the arrival of military vehicles on the Egyptian border.

There was also full coordination with the US, the sources said.

A Western source in Cairo said the US administration gave Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a green light for a "limited, short-term operation", which could take several days.

This was to allow Netanyahu an image of victory that he can market to far-right government ministers before agreeing to truce proposals that Hamas announced its approval of on Monday, the Western source added.

Israel's seven-month war on Gaza has so far killed more than 34,700 people, mostly women and children according to the Palestinian enclave's health ministry.