Egyptian guard killed in shooting on Rafah border

Published May 28, 2024
Amman (Jordan): Demonstrators gather near the Israeli embassy during a protest to condemn the Israeli air strikes in Rafah.—Reuters
Amman (Jordan): Demonstrators gather near the Israeli embassy during a protest to condemn the Israeli air strikes in Rafah.—Reuters

JERUSALEM: A member of Egypt’s security forces was killed in a shooting incident near the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip and an investigation is under way, Egypt’s military spokesperson said in a statement on Monday.

Israel’s military had earlier said it was investigating reports of an exchange of fire between Israeli and Egyptian soldiers.

“A few hours ago (Monday), a shooting incident occurred on the Egyptian border. The incident is under review and discussions are being held with the Egyptians,” the Israeli military said in a statement.

Later on Monday, Egypt warned against compromising the security and safety of its security forces, a high-level source told Egypt’s state-linked Al Qahera News.

Preliminary investigations showed that Egyptian security personnel had reacted to an exchange of gunfire “between Israeli forces and members of the Palestinian resistance, which led to shooting in several directions,” the source said, adding that Egypt would take necessary measures to prevent the incident from recurring.

Israel seized control of the Rafah border crossing from the Gaza side of the border earlier this month as it stepped up its military offensive in the area, drawing strong criticism from Egypt.

Egypt is worried that Palestinians could be displaced from southern Gaza by the offensive, and has also repeatedly accused Israel of holding up deliveries of humanitarian aid to the territory, something Israel denies.

Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty in 1979 and have cooperated closely on security issues around the borders between Israel, Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, and the Gaza Strip. They jointly upheld a blockade of Gaza after Hamas took control of the territory in 2007.

Security incidents between the two countries have been rare.

In October 2023, two weeks after the start of the Israeli aggression in Gaza, Israel said one of its tanks had accidentally hit an Egyptian position near the border with Gaza, and Egypt said several Egyptian border guards sustained minor injuries.

In June 2023 , three Israeli soldiers and an Egyptian security officer were killed in a clash at the border.

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2024

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