Israeli fire results in death of Egyptian soldier near Rafah

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27th May 2024 – (Rafah) Israeli and Egyptian forces engaged in a firefight near Rafah on Monday, leading to casualties on both sides, according to sources in the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) cited by Maariv. The IDF stated that Egyptian soldiers started the firing, leading Israeli soldiers to retaliate. Sadly, an Egyptian soldier died during the exchange of fire.

Following the incident, IDF officials reached out to their Egyptian counterparts to halt the hostilities. Israeli media reported an “unusual incident” occurring between the Israeli and Egyptian armies at the Rafah crossing, which separates the besieged Gaza Strip from Egypt. Israeli Channel 13 first reported the incident, and it was subsequently confirmed by other media outlets.

Israeli Channel 14 disclosed that Egyptian soldiers opened fire on Israeli soldiers within the Rafah crossing, but fortunately, no casualties were reported. However, Al-Jazeera referenced other Israeli reports suggesting that Egyptian security forces fired at an Israeli truck, prompting the Israeli soldiers to respond with gunfire, resulting in casualties.

According to the reports, the Israeli forces fired warning shots in response. Sources indicated that this incident comes at a time of heightened tension with Egypt and may have significant political ramifications. Al-Jazeera highlighted that news of the incident was deleted by Israeli military censorship.

On Monday morning, Egypt strongly condemned the Israeli army’s targeting of a displacement camp in Rafah, located in the southern part of the country. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry issued a statement accusing Israel of deliberately “bombarding” the centre for displaced people. The ministry called on Israel to adhere to the measures mandated by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which include an immediate cessation of military operations in Rafah.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has reiterated the country’s rejection of any potential displacement of Palestinians from Gaza. The Egyptian government has consistently expressed concerns over Israel’s suggestion of forcibly expelling Palestinians from Gaza to the Egyptian side of the Sinai region.

Israel, currently facing charges of genocide against Palestinians in the International Court of Justice, has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since 7th October. The Gaza Ministry of Health reports that, during Israel’s ongoing genocide, 36,050 Palestinians have been killed, and 81,026 have been wounded.

Furthermore, at least 7,000 people are presumed dead, missing under the debris of their homes across the Gaza Strip. Palestinian and international organizations note that the majority of those killed and injured are women and children.

The Israeli aggression has caused a severe famine, predominantly in northern Gaza, resulting in the deaths of many Palestinians, particularly children. Additionally, nearly two million people have been forcefully displaced from various parts of the Gaza Strip, with the majority seeking refuge in the densely populated city of Rafah near the Egyptian border, marking the largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel claims that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on 7th October. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day due to “friendly fire.”