Israel Locks Horns with Egypt Over Rafah Crossing

( – As the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip worsens, Israel and Egypt remain locked in a struggle over the border crossing at the city of Rafah, with each nation blaming the other for the closure of the pass through which aid would typically flow.

Israel Katz, Foreign Minister of the Jewish state, said on Tuesday, May 14th, that he spoke with representatives from Germany and the UK and told them Egypt has to be persuaded “to reopen” the border.

Egypt, on the other hand, blames Israel’s military operations for the borders closing. Earlier this month, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) took control of the side of the crossing in Rafah, and Egyptian officials maintain this is what is blocking aid for civilians in Gaza, accusing Israel of trying to shift blame.

Katz said Hamas is to blame for the current war, which started after the radical Islamic group attacked Israel on Oct. 7th and killed about 1,200. He said Israel could no longer allow Hamas to have control of the crossing in Rafah and said it is now in the hands of Egypt to stop the worsening crisis by continuing aid efforts.

Although Israel captured the border between Rafah and Egypt, military forces have not moved into the city yet; however, officials said they still plan on proceeding with military operations in the city despite warnings from the U.S. and other nations that another spike in civilian casualties would result from a ground invasion. Nearly half a million Palestinians have fled the city over the last week, and many were already taking refuge there from other places in Gaza amid Israel’s military operations.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry responded to Israel’s comments by accusing the Jewish state of “distorting facts” and trying to disavow its own responsibility now that they have control of the Gaza side of the border.

The standoff has resulted in the cutting off of most aid into Gaza to help struggling civilians, raising concerns about the increasingly dire humanitarian situation. Since the war began, over 35,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli military operations.

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