update deskIsrael at War

Egypt won’t coordinate passage of aid through Rafah to Gaza

The IDF took control of the Strip's side of the Rafah Crossing last week.

Israeli tanks roll up to the Gaza side of the Rafah Crossing, May 7, 2024. Credit: IDF.
Israeli tanks roll up to the Gaza side of the Rafah Crossing, May 7, 2024. Credit: IDF.

Cairo is refusing to coordinate with Israel to allow aid to pass through the Rafah Crossing with Sinai into the Gaza Strip.

The decision by Egyptian President Abdel al-Fatah al-Sisi is preventing aid trucks from passing through the border, even as his government blames the development on Jerusalem, Alqahera News reported.

The Israel Defense Forces took control of the Gaza side of the Rafah Crossing with Egypt on Tuesday morning, as tanks from the 162nd Division’s 401st Armored Brigade rolled right up to the border station.

Israel’s War Cabinet last week decided unanimously to “continue the operation in Rafah to exert military pressure on Hamas in order to promote the release of our hostages and the other goals of the war.”

Jerusalem wants to allow aid through Rafah but is unable to do so without Egyptian cooperation.

“Every day that crossing is not available and usable for humanitarian assistance, there’s going to be more suffering, and that’s a deep concern to us,” White House spokesperson John Kirby said on Friday. “We urge the Israelis to open up that crossing to humanitarian assistance immediately.”

The Biden administration is seeking to delay the IDF’s operation in Rafah, concerned that Israel is not doing enough to ensure the safety of the over one million Gazans sheltered in the city.

The IDF has already evacuated more than 150,000 people from eastern Rafah to an expanded humanitarian zone in Al-Mawasi as part of a limited offensive that began on May 6.

The Rafah operation, which Israel estimates will last around two months, is being carried out in phases as opposed to a full-scale invasion. The phased nature of the operation allows for it to be paused should a hostage release deal be reached between Israel and Hamas.

The Biden administration last week announced the halt of offensive arms shipments to Israel over the activity in Gaza’s southernmost city.

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