Shooting Near Rafah Border Crossing Kills a Member of Egypt’s Security Forces

A member of Egypt’s security forces has been killed during a shooting incident near the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip and an investigation is underway, an Egyptian army spokesman said on Monday, after the Israeli military reported a shooting incident on the border.

There were few details on what happened, and neither country said who had opened fire. But the shooting reflects the escalating tension between the two nations since early May, when the city of Rafah in southern Gaza became the focus of Israel’s military campaign to defeat Hamas, an armed group that led a deadly attack on Israel on Oct. 7.

Israeli troops took control of the Gaza side of the Rafah border crossing, the main conduit between the territory and Egypt, early this month.

“Several hours ago, a shooting incident took place on the Egyptian border. The incident is under review. There is a dialogue with the Egyptian side,” Israel’s military said in a statement.

The Egyptian army’s spokesman, Col. Gharib Abdel Hafez, wrote on social media that a member of Egypt’s security forces was killed in the incident near the crossing.

The Israeli seizure of the Rafah crossing, in what Israel called a limited operation into Rafah, halted the flow of aid into the enclave through that portal. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has said the operation was vital to defeat the remaining battalions of Hamas and to destroy its military infrastructure, including tunnels.

Rafah’s population had swollen to more than one million as Gazans displaced from their homes fled to the area earlier in the conflict. The Egyptian authorities said they were concerned about an exodus of refugees across the border and onto its soil. Since then, most people have fled Rafah to areas farther from the Egyptian border.

Israeli leaders have said repeatedly that they needed to control the crossing and a buffer zone along Gaza’s southern border, known in Israel as the Philadelphi Corridor, in order to block tunnels built by Hamas that run from Gaza into Egypt.

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