Egypt military says guard killed in 'shooting' at Rafah border

Egypt military says guard killed in ‘shooting’ at Rafah border

/ 12:05 PM May 28, 2024

Egypt military says guard killed in 'shooting' at Rafah border

This picture taken on May 11, 2024 shows a view of tent encampments housing displaced Palestinians in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip by the border fence with Egypt, amid the ongoing conflict in the Palestinian territory between Israel and Hamas. Agence France-Presse

CAIRO — Egypt’s military said Monday that a border guard was killed in a shooting in the Rafah border area with Gaza, where Israeli forces are deployed, adding that a probe had been launched.

“The Egyptian armed forces, through the competent authorities, are investigating a shooting incident in the Rafah border area which led to the martyrdom of a guard,” a military statement said.

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The Israeli military reported a “shooting incident” on the Egyptian border and said it was discussing the incident with Egypt.

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Since May 7, Israeli forces have been operating in Rafah, a city in the far south of the Gaza Strip bordering Egypt.

Al-Qahera News, which has links to Egyptian intelligence, quoted a defence official as saying an initial probe of the shooting incident indicated that Israeli troops and Palestinian militants had exchanged fire, “which led to shooting in several directions”.

“The Egyptian security personnel were taking protective measures and dealing with the source of the fire,” the official added.

Since the war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas broke out on October 7, Egypt has been keen both to remain in solidarity with the Palestinians and retain its ties with Israel.

READ: Netanyahu: Deadly Israeli strike in Rafah was result of ‘tragic mistake’

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Egypt was in 1979 the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel, but their relationship since then has often been labelled a “cold peace”.

Cairo fears domestic repercussions over the war, and tensions have soared since Israeli forces seized the Rafah border crossing, a key entry point for humanitarian aid.

The official quoted by Al-Qahera said that “Egypt has warned of the repercussions of the Israeli military operations” along Gaza’s border with Egypt, warning of “conditions that are difficult to control and likely to escalate”.

A day after the war began in October, a policeman in Egypt’s second city Alexandria opened fire on an Israeli tour group, killing two Israeli tourists and their Egyptian guide.

In a previous shooting, in June 2023, Israel said an Egyptian policeman crossed the border and killed three Israeli soldiers before being himself shot dead.

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The Egyptian army said at the time the three Israelis were killed in a firefight by a member of the Egyptian security forces who had crossed the border “in pursuit of drug traffickers”.

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TAGS: Egypt, Rafah

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