Israel Bombs Rafah Crossing, Warns Egypt against Helping Gaza

A file photo of Palestinian security forces deploying at the Rafah border crossing. (Photo: Social Media, file)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

The Rafah crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt was bombed by Israel for the second time in less than 24 hours, while Israel’s Channel 12 reported that the Egyptian side received an Israeli warning against allowing relief supplies to enter the Strip.

The shelling targeted the buffer zone between the Egyptian and Palestinian gates of the crossing, damaging the inner hall of the Palestinian side.

The crossing was briefly closed on Monday after Israeli shelling.

Earlier in the day, the Palestinian Interior Ministry in the Gaza Strip said that the management of the Rafah crossing on the Egyptian side had informed crews on the Palestinian side of the need to evacuate the crossing due to Israeli threats to bomb it.

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The Rafah crossing is the Gaza Strip’s only passage to the outside world, and Egypt has left it open for most of the time since May 2018 after years of near-permanent closure. It serves as the only passage for Gazans that is not controlled by Israel.

Meanwhile, Israel’s Channel 12 said Israel had “warned Egypt not to help Gaza,” adding that the thrust of the warning message was “if you bring supplies to Gaza, we will bomb trucks.”

It did not clarify the channel through which the letter was addressed to the Egyptian side, and there was no immediate comment from Cairo.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant announced on Monday the imposition of a “complete siege” on the Gaza Strip and cut off all supplies of water, food, electricity and fuel, after the Palestinian Resistance on Saturday launched a military operation called ‘Al-Aqsa Flood’ against Israel.

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During previous wars on Gaza, countries and organizations sent relief aid to Gaza through the Rafah border crossing.

For its part, the United Nations confirmed on Tuesday that the complete blockade of the Gaza Strip – declared by Israel – is prohibited under international humanitarian law.

U.N. human rights chief Volker Türk said in a statement that imposing a blockade that endangers the lives of civilians by depriving them of goods essential to survival is prohibited under international humanitarian law.

(AJA, PC)

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