June 16, 2024

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Israel-Hamas War: IDF Seizes Tactical Control of Philadelphia Corridor Between Southern Gaza and Egypt

Israel-Hamas War: IDF Seizes Tactical Control of Philadelphia Corridor Between Southern Gaza and Egypt

Israeli forces have taken tactical control of the Philadelphia Corridor, a narrow 14km buffer zone along the border between the southern Gaza Strip and Egypt, an Israeli military official said on Wednesday.

“It doesn’t mean we’ll be physically present in the entire corridor, but we can control Hamas oxygen, and we have the ability to deplete the used oxygen to resupply (the corridor) in and around that area,” he said.

An Israeli military operation in the southern Gaza Strip’s Rafah sector uncovered 20 tunnels leading to Egypt, the official said, and this information was passed on to Cairo.

Israeli tanks continued their advance into the heart of Rafah on Wednesday, defying an International Court of Justice (ICJ) order to halt military operations in southern Gaza City, where many displaced people have taken refuge.

Not a “massive land operation”.

However, for the United States, this Israeli attack does not represent a “major ground operation” that could force Washington to change its policy toward its ally.

According to Tzachi Hanegbi, head of the Israeli National Security Council, the conflict is expected to continue for another seven months and Israel is not ready to stop its operations as Hamas demands the release of the hostages.

“The fight in Rafah was not in vain,” he said, reiterating that the operations launched by Israel in the Palestinian territories were aimed at eradicating Hamas’ presence in the Gaza Strip.

According to residents of Rafah, Israeli tanks carried out raids in the west, in Tel al-Sultan and in the center of the city, near Yabna and Shaboura, before retreating to positions near the border with Egypt.

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This tactic contrasts with that used in other enclaves. Armed groups of Hamas and Islamic Jihad said they fired anti-tank rockets and mortar shells and explosive devices at Israeli troops.

Three soldiers were killed

Israel’s military said three soldiers were killed and three others were seriously wounded during fighting in the southern Gaza Strip on Wednesday. Israeli Khan Radio reported that they were injured by an explosive device planted in a building in Rafah.

On the Palestinian side, several people were wounded by Israeli gunfire in the eastern part of Rafah on Wednesday morning, according to local health officials, who said they set fire to shops offering aid.

Some residents reported seeing unmanned armored vehicles firing machine guns in parts of the city.

The pro-Hamas Shebaab news agency and some residents and journalists said intense Israeli air and ground bombardment disrupted internet and mobile networks in the east and west.

The Israeli army said it could not confirm these reports. In the northern Gaza Strip, tanks shelled several neighborhoods of Gaza City and armed forces moved deep into Jabaliya, the largest of the enclave’s eight historic refugee camps.