Sunday, May 26, 2024

Israel take control of Gaza side of Rafah crossing

The Israeli military on Tuesday said its 401st Armored Brigade captured the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing, Gaza’s only crossing with Egypt. The military operation comes shortly after Hamas agreed to a US-mediated ceasefire proposal.

Israel also intensified “carpet-bombing” of Rafah on Monday night.

The small town in the south of the besieged strip is home to 1.5 million displaced Palestinians. Several people have been reported killed and wounded in Israel’s operation, according to journalists.

The Salah ed-Din road in eastern Rafah, usually connected to the crossing, was also captured by Israel.

The Israeli flag was raised at the crossing, while the Palestinian one was left on the floor, Middle East Eye reported.

Gaza’s General Authority for Crossings and Borders said that passenger entry, as well as aid deliveries have been halted due to the Israeli army’s storming of the area.

On Monday, Hamas announced it accepted a ceasefire proposal from Qatar and Egypt. 

The proposal involves three phases, with the first phase calling for a complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Netzarim corridor and the return of displaced Palestinians to their homes. The second phase involves an announcement of a permanent cessation of military operations. In the last phase, there would be a complete end to the blockade of the Gaza Strip. 

In exchange, Israel would be expected to release an unspecified number of Palestinian prisoners, withdraw its troops from certain regions of the Gaza Strip, and allow Palestinians to travel from the south of the territory to the north.

While countries in the region, including Qatar, Egypt, and Turkey, welcomed Hamas’s acceptance of the proposal, the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel was moving ahead with its invasion of Rafah.


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