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Israel army says takes 'operational control' of key Egypt-Gaza corridor

By AFP

May 29, 2024 11:49 PM


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The Israeli army said on Wednesday it had gained "operational control" over the strategic Philadelphi corridor along the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.

"We have established operational control" over the 14-kilometre (8.5-mile) corridor, a military official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

The seizure of the Philadelphi corridor comes just weeks after Israeli forces took control of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt on May 7 as their ground assault on the far-southern Gaza city began.

The corridor had served as a buffer zone between Gaza and Egypt, and Israeli troops patrolled it until 2005 when they were withdrawn as part of a broader disengagement from the Gaza Strip.

Since then, however, there were fears the corridor was being used to channel weapons to armed groups in the Palestinian territory.

Fighting raged in Gaza's far-southern city of Rafah on Wednesday, residents and officials said, a day after Israeli tanks rolled into city centre of the city.

The Gaza war was sparked by Hamas's October 7 attack on southern Israel, which resulted in the deaths of 1,189 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

Militants also took 252 hostages, 121 of whom remain in Gaza, including 37 the army says are dead.

Israel's retaliatory offensive has killed at least 36,171 people in Gaza, mostly civilians, according to the Hamas-run territory's health ministry.

 


AFP


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