Egypt swiftly responded to Israel’s plan to attack the border city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip by bolstering its border security, deploying around 45 battle tanks and armored personnel carriers in northeastern Sinai over the past fortnight. This move aims to preempt potential crises in the region, particularly in light of Israeli military strikes around Rafah in Gaza, where many Palestinians have sought refuge.
Not only has the Egyptian government increased its military presence, but it has also taken significant measures to fortify the border infrastructure with Gaza. Recently, an additional six-meter-high cement wall, reinforced with wire mesh, was constructed as part of these enhancements, alongside the construction of guard towers to bolster surveillance at key border points. These steps serve as a direct response to the dire situation in Gaza and seek to prevent any forced Palestinian exodus into Egyptian territory.
These Egyptian actions come after the IDF’s official preparation for a ground assault against the last major city under Hamas control, Rafah, following Netanyahu’s directive, with prior arrangements to relocate civilians to safe areas within the Gaza Strip.
Egypt has repeatedly expressed its dismay at these developments, warning that it will not accept any Palestinians on its soil. Egypt’s official rationale is that this would lead to a massive permanent displacement of Palestinians from Gaza, and the relocation of any Hamas members to Sinai would jeopardize peace between Egypt and Israel.