Israeli Army Radio says Israel, Egypt nearing agreement on Philadelphi Corridor

Ahram Online , Thursday 1 Feb 2024

The Israeli Army Radio reported on Thursday that Israel and Egypt are close to reaching an agreement regarding the postwar control of the Salah al-Din axis, a 14-kilometer buffer zone between Egypt and Gaza, which is also known as the Philadelphi Corridor.

Palestinians displaced by the Israel air and ground offensive on the Gaza Strip sit next to the border fence with Egypt in Rafah, Jan. 2024. AP


Citing anonymous officials, the report noted that Israel has vowed not to act militarily in the area of the Gaza city of Rafah, near the Egypt border, before the Palestinian population staying there is given “adequate time to evacuate to other parts of the strip.”

According to the report, this aims to prevent the deportation of residents from Gaza to Egypt, of which the latter has repeatedly warned.

Israel is still undecided about where to move the population – currently estimated at around 1 million people, according to the report.

The report also added the options under consideration include northern Gaza, which requires a decision from the Israeli government to allow Gazans to return there, or Khan Younis, after the conclusion of the current Israeli intense fighting.

Following the end of the war, the reportedly emerging deal would see Israel have a “certain influence over the Philadelphi Corridor — possibly via unspecified technological means — but without a physical presence along the border,” said the report.

Furthermore, if Egypt agrees, a Gulf state will likely fund the construction of a subterranean wall along the border to counter cross-border tunnels, Israeli Army Radio mentioned.

Egypt has issued “strong warnings” to Israel against any military operations in the Philadelphi Corridor.

Egypt said an Israeli incursion into the corridor would be a violation of the 1979 peace treaty, which Egypt will not allow.

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