Photo Credit: Screenshot from IDF
Footage of an Israeli air strike near the Gaza-Egypt border. Dec. 2023.

For the first time, Israel carried out air strikes on Hamas targets along Gaza’s border with Egypt, the Israel Defense Forces confirmed on Friday.

“The sites that were struck in the Rafah area, where Hamas terrorists were operating, facilitated the smuggling efforts led by the Hamas terrorist organization, including the smuggling of weapons that endanger Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers operating in the Gaza Strip,” the IDF said.


“Targeting this terrorist infrastructure impedes Hamas’ ability to smuggle more weapons into the Gaza Strip. Operating in these areas enables Hamas to seize humanitarian aid entering the Gaza Strip, assist in the smuggling of weapons, and partake in Hamas’ attacks against IDF troops in the Gaza Strip,” the IDF added.

The IDF said it struck weapons warehouses, command and control facilities, observation posts, and other military targets and released footage.

The 14 km Gaza-Egypt border area is a politically sensitive area.

As the Tazpit Press Service recently reported on Sunday, Hamas is pressuring Egypt by calling on Gazans to flee to Rafah, the town where the Rafah border crossing with Egypt is located. It is the only Gaza border crossing not controlled by Israel. The rising number of Gazans in Rafah is increasing the pressure on Egypt to allow them to shelter in the Sinai.

But Cairo has been steadfast in its refusal to allow this, saying an influx of Gazans would undermine Egyptian security in the Sinai. Egyptian officials warn that refugee camps in the Sinai or along the Gaza-Egypt border will become armed.

To prevent weapons smuggling after Israel’s disengagement from Gaza in 2006, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority reached an agreement to create a buffer zone along the border known as the Philadelphi Corridor.

The next year, Hamas violently seized control of Gaza from the PA.

At least 1,200 people were killed in Hamas’s attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on Oct. 7. The number of men, women, children, soldiers and foreigners held captive in Gaza by Hamas is now believed to be 132. Other people remain unaccounted for as Israeli authorities continue to identify bodies and search for human remains.


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