Israel strategy of besieging Gaza would obviously not work if this 10km border was not strictly closed


1 Answer 1


Apparently, one reason invoked for the recent closure is an Israeli [air] strike.

Egyptian security sources and a witness said operations at Rafah had been disrupted by what they described as a strike on the Gaza side.

Egyptian media has a video of an explosion taking place on the Gaza side of the border.

On the other hand, Sisi said something that can be easily be interpreted as him not allowing Palestinians to be pushed into Egypt:

Egypt would not allow the issue to be settled at the expense of others, Sisi said in comments reported by state news agency MENA, an apparent reference to the risk that Palestinians could be pushed into Sinai.

His exact words, as quoted by the Egyptian press are slightly more ambiguous.

At a time when there are increasing concerns about a potential mass Palestinian migration toward the Egyptian border with Gaza, Sisi emphasized that "there will be no compromise on Egypt’s national security under any circumstances, and the Egyptian people must be aware of the complexities of the situation and the magnitude of the threat.”

High-ranking Egyptian security sources have issued a warning through statements to Egyptian media.

They expressed concerns about what they described as “an attempt to push Palestinians in Gaza towards migrating to the Egyptian border due to the ongoing Israeli airstrikes in the strip.”

The sources emphasized that “Egyptian sovereignty is not to be violated.”

Also, Egypt has long maintained tight control over the border, which includes several layers of walls and fences, as I understand, claiming risk of terrorists moving into Egypt, e.g.

Egyptian armed forces announced Feb. 3 [2020] “having found south of the Rafah security camps’ yard a nearly 3-kilometer-long [underground] tunnel coming from the Gaza Strip to the heart of the [Egyptian border city of] Rafah,” Palestine's Maan News Agency reported the same day.

Maan News quoted Egyptian security sources as saying that “the tunnel serves as [an underground means] for the infiltration of terrorists from the Gaza Strip, planting [roadside bombs] in the Egyptian side, pushing terrorist [Islamic State] supporters to Sinai, and for the transfer of arms and explosives. Ammunition and explosives were seized in the tunnel.”

Egyptian armed forces announced having discovered the tunnel a few hours after five Egyptian soldiers were killed and others were wounded Feb. 3 in a roadside bomb south of the town of Sheikh Zuweid, which borders the Gaza Strip.


there were multiple Egyptian measures to close the Palestinian tunnels, including a buffer zone along the 14-kilometer-long Egyptian-Gazan border in October 2014. The 500-meter-deep buffer zone set up on the Egyptian side was expanded to 1,500 meters deep into the Egyptian side in October 2017.

Such an Egyptian policy managed to close and destroy hundreds of border underground tunnels and caused Hamas a stifling financial crisis that has been ongoing to date [2020].

Update: CNN writes on 17 Oct:

A Palestinian border official told CNN on Saturday that concrete slabs had been placed at the crossing, blocking all gates; Egypt, meanwhile, claims that Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza side of the border have made roads inoperable.

Satellite images provided by Maxar Technologies show four 30-foot (9-meter) craters blocking the roadway at the border crossing closest to the Egyptian gate, along with the concrete slabs.

  • 4
    For sure, a massive exodus of Palestinians would be a way for Israel to "solve its problems" and one can see why Egypt would not want to be complicit in that. But, historically, the Palestinians haven't always been very welcome, or well-behaved, in regional host countries. Jordan, Lebanon, Kuwait, etc... Not something an Egyptian politician would state out loud, now, but... Oct 11, 2023 at 16:59

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .