Egypt warns Israel of military operations in buffer zone with Gaza: Reports

Ahram Online , Sunday 29 Oct 2023

Egypt has issued “strong warnings” to Israel against any military operations in the 14-kilometer buffer zone with Gaza, known as the Philadelphi Corridor, say well-informed Egyptian sources quoted by The New Arab.

Israeli tanks take position along the Israeli border with the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023. AP


Egypt warned the Israeli side against operations in the Philadelphi Corridor should they decide to launch a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, as it is a buffer zone guaranteed by the Egypt–Israel peace treaty of 1979, the sources said.

The Philadelphi Corridor “must be an essential part of any Israeli plans to storm the Gaza Strip by land, which prompted Cairo to warn in advance,” an Egyptian source said.

He added that an Israeli incursion into the corridor would be considered a violation of the international treaty, which Egypt will not allow.

Meanwhile, the source asserted that Cairo has conveyed skepticism to Tel Aviv on the recent attack on an Egyptian military surveillance tower near Gaza, which Israel said it shelled “by mistake.”

The source said Egyptian investigations indicate that the Israeli attack was deliberate and aimed to “provoke Cairo to take a unilateral decision to halt the operation of the [Rafah border] crossing and subsequently face Palestinian and Arab anger.”

Egypt has also warned Israel that it may take diplomatic steps in the coming days to “limit bilateral relations” should Israel continue refusing to abandon plans to relocate people from Gaza to Sinai.

The Jerusalem Post has reported the remarks of the sources, citing The New Arab.

Since the Israeli war on Gaza erupted three weeks ago, Egypt has called for a halt to Israeli strikes against civilians in the strip and also warned of an Israeli scheme to drive Palestinians into Egypt’s Sinai.

Egypt has also warned of the unprecedented humanitarian and security risks that would result from a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, according to a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday.

On Sunday 22 October, a number of Egyptian border surveillance personnel were injured in the Israeli shelling in Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) near the border with Gaza.

Egyptian Armed Forces Spokesman Gharib Abdel-Hafez said in a statement that the surveillance tower was “accidentally” hit by shell fragments from an Israeli tank amid ongoing clashes around the Gaza Strip.

Early on Friday, two drones fell in South Sinai’s Nuweiba and Taba, causing six injuries. The Israeli foreign ministry condemned the attacks, saying the drones were launched by Houthis in Yemen with the intention of harming Israel.

Egypt's army spokesperson also said the same day that investigations showed that the drones were heading from the south of the Red Sea towards Israel in the north.

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