Although the Rafah crossing remains closed, Cairo claims that the gate, citing local Arab media, is increasing its military presence in the area in case crowds of refugees arrive there. Egypt is scheduled to reinforce the wall separating it from the Gaza Strip using a sandbag barrier, and build two additional barriers – the first one kilometer from the border, and the second – between the city of Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid.
The portal also reports that soldiers and armored personnel carriers have been deployed along these checkpoints. The website claims that the goal is to prevent Palestinians from leaving the border area.
Egypt prepares for the influx of refugees
However, in parallel with these measures, Egypt is preparing for the possible influx of a certain number of refugees into the country. The governor of North Sinai, Major General Mohamed Abdel Fadil Shousha, ordered local authorities to prepare a list of government buildings, schools, housing units and vacant lands that could be used as shelter for Palestinians, according to the British Guardian newspaper website. He added that two refugee camps are being established in the border cities of Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid.
The Egyptian army’s presence in Sinai is theoretically limited by the 1978 peace treaty with Israel, which allowed the stationing of up to 22,000 soldiers. Soldiers along the Suez Canal. However, in recent years, Cairo has strengthened its forces throughout the peninsula with Israel’s approval to fight the Islamist insurgency in the north, where ISIS cells are active. Over the past decade, Egypt has made hundreds of requests to exceed the treaty’s limits on troops and weapons in Sinai, and Israel has approved each one. As a result, Egypt now has at least twice the number of troops in the region that the peace treaty originally allowed.
Nearly 500 thousand people internal guidance
Nearly half a million Israelis have been internally displaced since the deadly Hamas attacks on October 7, an Israeli military spokesman said in a press conference on Tuesday.
We evacuated all of southern Israel, and all towns near the Gaza Strip, in accordance with government directives […] We did the same thing in the north, where 20 towns near the border were evacuated, Israeli army spokesman Jonathan Conricus said.
– The displaced people found shelter with their relatives in the center of the country, in safer areas. This is a major population displacement in Israel and it is not talked about much. He admitted that the situation in Gaza is worse.
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