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Faith  Nyasuguta 

Tensions at the Rafah crossing escalated to unprecedented levels on Monday, culminating in a confrontation between Israeli and Egyptian troops. Reports indicate that there was an exchange of gunfire between the two militaries, resulting in a casualty on the Egyptian side, while the Israeli side reported no injuries.

According to a report by the Jerusalem Post, Egyptian troops at the Rafah crossing opened fire on Israeli soldiers, leading to a gun battle. Sources within the IDF confirmed this incident, stating that an Egyptian soldier lost his life in the firefight. The Israeli forces sustained no injuries. IDF representatives immediately communicated with Egyptian authorities to de-escalate the situation following the altercation.

The IDF acknowledged the incident, stating that “a shooting incident occurred on the Egyptian border,” but did not provide further details. They added that the matter was under review and discussions were ongoing with the Egyptians to understand and resolve the issue.

Tensions at the Rafah crossing have been brewing. Earlier this month, Egypt’s state-affiliated Alqahera News satellite TV reported that Egypt refused to cooperate with Israel on the flow of supplies into Gaza from the Rafah border due to Israel’s “unacceptable escalation.”


On May 7, Israeli forces took control of the main Rafah border crossing, blocking a vital supply route into the Gaza Strip. This move came as Israel began its operations against Hamas in the Rafah region, coinciding with a breakdown in hostage negotiations.

Over the weekend, at least 35 people were killed after an Israeli airstrike hit tents housing displaced people in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, according to Palestinian medics. This incident occurred hours after Hamas launched a barrage of rockets at Tel Aviv for the first time in months.

/Daily Sabah/

Footage from the scene revealed widespread destruction, with a large fire overtaking the area. The Israeli military stated that its air force targeted a Hamas compound using “precise ammunition and based on precise intelligence.” Despite an order from the UN’s top court to halt the assault due to the worsening humanitarian crisis, Israel has continued its offensive on the southernmost part of the Gaza Strip.

A spokesperson from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society indicated that the death toll might rise as search and rescue efforts continued in Rafah’s Tal al-Sultan neighborhood, about 1.2 miles (2 km) northwest of the city center. The spokesperson said, “Currently, numerous individuals remain trapped under the flames and in the tents destroyed by the bombardment.” 

The group also noted that the strike’s location had been designated by Israel as a humanitarian area, and citizens were coerced into evacuating to it.

The Red Cross reported that its field hospital in Rafah was overwhelmed with casualties, with other hospitals also taking in large numbers of patients. Israel has justified its ground operation in Rafah, claiming it is necessary to achieve “total victory” over Hamas, which it believes has its leadership and four battalions of fighters camped out there, using Israeli hostages as human shields.


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Faith Nyasuguta

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