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Rafah Border Completely Sealed Since Israeli Military Takeover 3 Days Ago

12:00 May 10 2024 Rafa border crossing (معبر رفح)

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Rafa crossing. Published by IMEMC News

An Israeli tank and flag at the Rafah Crossing, on Tuesday. Credit: Use under Section 27A of the Copyright Law Published by Haaretz
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by IMEMC News
May 10, 2024

The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, said on Thursday that no one has been allowed to enter or leave the Gaza Strip for the past three days, since the Israeli forces stormed the border crossing with tanks and military vehicles and took it over.

Griffiths stated that “the closure of the border crossings prevented the supply of fuel to Gaza,” pointing to the suspension of the movement of aid trucks, generators, water, electricity, people and products into the Strip.

“Civilians are being killed and starving in Gaza, and we are prevented from helping them,” Griffiths said.

Doctors Without Borders issued an urgent call for help to get the border open, because the Palestinians sealed inside the Gaza Strip on all sides (Rafah was the only entry point for aid) are now completely closed off from the world with no way to get aid in.

Injured children (over 75,000 Palestinians have been injured in the past seven months) who need to travel outside Gaza for urgent medical care are now stuck inside Gaza with no way to exit to receive their lifesaving medical treatment.

The International Federation of the Red Cross called for the immediate opening of the crossing.

Last Tuesday morning, the Israeli occupation forces occupied the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing, stopped the flow of aid to the Gaza Strip, and launched a series of violent raids on the eastern areas of Rafah, resulting in dozens of Palestinians killed and injured.

Since the beginning of the ground operation launched by the occupation forces on the Gaza Strip on October 27, citizens have been asked to go from the north and center of the Gaza Strip to the south, claiming that they are “safe areas.”

Al Mayadeen has reported that the Israeli government has announced its plan to hand over control of the border crossing to an American mercenary company run by Erik Prince, the notorious militia leader known for his company Blackwater that committed many crimes against civilians in Iraq.

Al Mayadeen reported that Erik Prince is a former US Navy SEAL who was behind the revival of the private security industry. Notoriously known for Blackwater and his involvement in the Iraq War, he established another private military company called Reflex Responses – or R2 – after he sold Blackwater to investors as an escape from controversy. The UAE secretly hired both companies, Blackwater and R2, to go to Yemen.

Blackwater, which has massacred scores of Iraqis, has taken pride in employing Colombians and other Latin American military mercenaries, known for their brutal tactics including torture of suspects, from soldiers to commanders.

Rafah is 65 square kilometres, and is hosting more than 1.5 million Palestinians displaced from the north and central parts of Gaza, facing dire conditions with thousands of tents scattered across the city.
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Israeli Army Takes Control of Palestinian Side of Rafah Border Crossing, Forces Operating in City's East

Amidst significant progress in the hostage negotiations, IDF forces have taken control of the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing to Egypt, which is now closed for entry of humanitarian aid, as well as the Kerem Shalom crossing. Israeli source to CNN: 'The incursion is a limited operation intended to pressure Hamas to agree to a deal

by Jack Khoury, Yaniv Kubovich, The Associated Press Published by Haaretz
May 7, 2024

The Israel Defense Forces took control of the Palestinian side of the Rafah Crossing overnight into Tuesday and are now operating in the eastern part of Rafah city. The crossing, which connects Gaza with Egypt, has been closed for the transfer of humanitarian aid, along with the Kerem Shalom crossing.

A CNN report quotes a source familiar with the details, who says Israel's incursion into Rafah will be 'a limited military operation' with the objective of pressuring Hamas to agree to the hostage deal.

According to the source, Israel has informed the U.S. of its intention to evacuate eastern Rafah and begin an operation before the Monday evening call between President Biden and Prime Minister Netanyahu. The source added that this invasion is not the major Rafah operation Israeli officials have publicly spoken of in recent weeks.

According to the army's statement, after learning that Hamas members are using the crossing for terror activities, more than 150 Hamas targets were destroyed, and the forces gained full control of the Palestinian side of the crossing, some 3.5 kilometers (about 2 miles) from Egypt.

The IDF says the rocket barrage that hit the Kerem Shalom crossing on Monday and killed four soldiers was fired from the Rafah crossing by 'terrorists.' The Kerem Shalom crossing is now closed, and at about noon, Israel time, six mortar shells were fired toward the crossing, with no casualties or damage reported.

The army's statement added that at least 20 Hamas members have been killed and that terror tunnel shafts have been destroyed. Army sources estimate that the tunnel shafts located in the area were part of a Hamas underground defense route and do not cross into Egyptian territory.

The military operation was headed by the army's 162nd Division and the 401st Armored Brigade, in collaboration with special units that operated in eastern Rafah.

The IDF further said that its forces in Rafah are operating about two miles from the border, and are expected to go even deeper into the territory. International aid organizations who work in the area were coordinated with the army before the operation began, according to the statement.

Hamas member Wael Abu Omer, who serves as the communications director at the Rafah crossing, told Haaretz that since Israeli army forces arrived at the location, all humanitarian aid shipments going into Gaza from the Egyptian side have halted.

Abu Omer shared a video recording on his X account, that shows an Israeli tank near the border crossing.
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