Israeli military plans to use Gaza land corridor for at least a year, army tells CNN

Israeli military plans to use Gaza land corridor for at least a year, army tells CNN
The Israeli army has told US media it plans on utilising a land corridor it has expanded in war-torn Gaza for at least another year.
2 min read
09 March, 2024
The road, dubbed the Netzarim Corridor, has split the northern part of the Gaza Strip from its south [Getty]

The Israeli military plans to use a land corridor it has widened to cut the Gaza Strip in half for at least a year for logistical purposes, the army has told CNN on Thursday.

A report aired last month on Israeli media shows how the Israeli army is building the new Highway 749 – dubbed the Netzarim Corridor – which will run through the strip south of Gaza City, essentially cutting off the northern part of the enclave from its south.

The report revealed a 1-kilometer buffer zone north and south of the highway, with Unit 601 of the Engineering Corps tasked with demolishing surrounding buildings.

The corridor will run through the former grounds of the Netzarim Settlement, which was evacuated in 2005 as part of then-prime minister Ariel Sharon's disengagement from Gaza.

The Israeli army has told CNN that it was using the road "to establish an operational foothold in the region" and allow "the passage of [military] forces as well as logistical equipment."

It added that the road existed before the war, which began on October 7, and that work was being carried out to "renew" it, as it has been damaged by heavy vehicles such as tanks.

Israel’s Minister of Diaspora Affairs Amichai Chikli told CNN in a statement that the road will enable the Israeli army to easily storm the north and south of Gaza City as well as the central region of the enclave.

As well as serving the Israeli army "logistically," it will also give the army greater control and surveillance over civilians trying to cross from one end of the enclave to the other.

Comments made to CNN about the army planning to use the land corridor for a year hint at Israel's plans to remain in Gaza for the foreseeable future, with no intention of withdrawing even if the conflict ends. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has previously rejected any plans to hand over Gaza to a Palestinian-led authority.

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