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Shooting Incident On Rafah Border Leaves Egyptian Guard Dead

An Egyptian guard has been killed in a shooting at Rafah border, with Israel and Egypt currently investigating the incident.

A member of Egypt’s security forces was killed in a shooting incident near the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, Egypt’s military spokesperson confirmed on Monday. An investigation is currently underway.

Earlier, Israel’s military stated it was looking into reports of an exchange of fire between Israeli and Egyptian soldiers. “A few hours ago, 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.

Following the incident, Egypt issued a stern warning against compromising the security and safety of its forces, according to a high-level source who spoke to Egypt’s state-linked Al Qahera News. The source emphasised that Egypt would take necessary measures to prevent such incidents from happening again.

The altercation began when an Egyptian soldier stationed on a watchtower saw an armored vehicle carrying Israeli troops cross a boundary line near the border. The Israeli soldiers were reportedly pursuing and killing several Palestinians at the time. The Egyptian soldier opened fire, prompting Israeli forces to return fire, which resulted in his death. The exchange of gunfire led to several Israeli soldiers being wounded and the force eventually retreating. Additionally, one Egyptian was reported wounded in the clash, according to two Egyptian security sources.

The Rafah border crossing has been a point of contention recently, as Israel seized control of it from the Gaza side earlier this month during an intensified military offensive in the area. This move has drawn strong criticism from Egypt, which is concerned about the potential displacement of Palestinians from southern Gaza and has accused Israel of hindering humanitarian aid deliveries to the territory, an accusation Israel denies.

Despite the peace treaty signed between Egypt and Israel in 1979 and their close cooperation on security issues around their borders, incidents like this are rare. However, there have been recent occurrences. In October 2023, two weeks into the war in Gaza, an Israeli tank accidentally hit an Egyptian position near the border, resulting in minor injuries to several Egyptian border guards. In June 2023, a clash at the border led to the deaths of three Israeli soldiers and an Egyptian security officer.

Melissa Enoch

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