IDF Takes Control of Rafah Border Crossing With Egypt

IDF ground troops entering the Gazan side of the Rafah Crossing. Photo: IDF

The IDF took control of the Rafah border crossing, which is used by Hamas Terrorists to smuggle arms and rockets into the Gaza Strip via Egypt. Additional concerns that Hamas smuggled some of the Hostages into Egypt, ahead of the Rafah operation.


Yerushalayim — The IDF took control of the Rafah border crossing, which is used by Hamas Terrorists to smuggle arms and rockets into the Gaza Strip via Egypt.

There are growing fears that Hamas smuggled some of the Hostages into Egypt (or other Middle East and African countries via Egypt), ahead of the Rafah operation.

On Monday night, IDF forces began a precise counterterrorism operation, led by the 162nd Armored Division, 401st and Givati Brigades, to eliminate Hamas terrorists and dismantle Hamas terrorist infrastructure within specific areas of Rafah.

IDF forces managed to establish “operational control” of the Gazan side of the crossing. On Sunday, mortars were fired from the area of the Rafah Crossing toward the area of the Kerem Shalom Crossing, as a result of which four IDF soldiers were killed and a number of other soldiers injured.

This marks the first time Israel gained full control of Gaza, since the Philadelphi Accords were signed and the subsequent disastrous disengagement of Gush Katif in 2005.

Furthermore, IDF ground troops and IAF fighter jets struck and eliminated Hamas terror targets in the Rafah area, including military structures, underground infrastructure, and additional terrorist infrastructure from which Hamas operated in the Rafah area.

Since the start of the operational activity, approximately 20 terrorists have been eliminated, and three operational tunnel shafts have been located.

B’Chasdei Hashem, no IDF soldiers were injured during the Rafah operation.

IDF ground troops are continuing to operate against Hamas terrorists and infrastructure in the area of the Rafah Crossing in eastern Rafah.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the nation on Tuesday afternoon, “Last night, with the consent of the War Cabinet, I directed [that the IDF] act in Rafah. They raised Israeli flags at the Rafah Crossing and took down the Hamas flags. The entry into Rafah serves two of the main objectives of the war: Returning our hostages and eliminating Hamas.”

“As the War Cabinet unanimously determined, the Hamas proposal was very far from Israel’s core demands.” The PM continued, addressing the rejected Hamas deal, “Israel will not allow Hamas to restore its regime of evil in the Strip. Israel will not allow it to rebuild its military capabilities in order to continue striving for our destruction. Israel cannot accept a proposal that endangers the security of our citizens and the future of our state.”

“Therefore, I have instructed the ranking delegation that left for Cairo: Continue to insist on the necessary conditions for the release of our hostages. Continue to strongly insist on the demands that are essential for ensuring the security of Israel.”

The PM also addressed the new operation in Rafah, “At the same time, we are continuing the war on Hamas. The taking of the Rafah Crossing today is a very important step, an important step on the way to destroying Hamas’s remaining military capabilities, including the elimination of the four terrorist battalions in Rafah, and an important step to damaging Hamas’s governing capabilities, because as of this morning, we have denied Hamas the crossing that was vital to establishing its terrorist regime in the Strip.”

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