Israel advances in Philadelphi corridor, nears blocking Gaza from Egypt

The Israeli army on Tuesday began expanding its incursion into Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, seizing more of the border area with Egypt, known as the Philadelphi Corridor.

The move means that the Israeli army is moving closer to isolating the strip from contact with Egypt and eventually the entire world.

The Israeli army expanded its incursion into Rafah amid heavy shelling and bombing, forcing thousands to flee western Rafah toward Khan Younis and areas in the central Gaza Strip.

At least 16 Palestinians were killed in an Israeli overnight bombing across Rafah, according to medical sources.

The current Israeli incursion into Rafah makes it only 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) away from the Rafah coast and puts over two-thirds of the Philadelphi Corridor area under Israel’s control.

The Philadelphi Corridor — 14-kilometer (8.69-mile) in length — is a demilitarized buffer zone running along the Gaza-Egypt border, as stipulated by the treaty following the signing of the 1978 Camp David Accords between then-Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.

Before the launch of the Israeli military operation against Rafah on May 6, it was home and shelter to over 1.5 million displaced Palestinians who fled their areas across the Gaza Strip due to the Israeli onslaught that started on Oct. 7, 2023.

Israel continued its brutal offensive on Gaza despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire.

At least 36,050 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, the vast majority being women and children, and over 81,000 others injured since October following an attack by Hamas.

More than seven months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water, and medicine.

Israel stands accused of “genocide” at the International Court of Justice, which has ordered Tel Aviv to ensure its forces do not commit acts of genocide and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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