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Egypt threatens Israel to suspend peace deal if IDF attacks Rafah

Egypt threatens Israel to suspend peace deal if IDF attacks Rafah Photo: Egypt threatens Israel to suspend peace deal if IDF attacks Rafah in Gaza Strip (Getty Images)

Egypt threatens Israel with suspending a key peace agreement if the IDF enters the densely populated border city of Rafah. This could also lead to the closure of the main humanitarian supply route, according to the Associated Press.

As the agency writes, the threat to suspend the Camp David Accords, which have helped maintain stability for almost half a century, arose after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that sending troops to Rafah is necessary to win the four-month war against Hamas.

More than half of the population of the Gaza Strip fled to Rafah, escaping hostilities in other areas and settled in tent camps and UN-managed shelters near the border. Egypt, in turn, fears a massive influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees.

Meanwhile, humanitarian organizations also warn that an attack on Rafah could worsen the already catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Meanwhile, the Al-Aqsa television channel, owned by Hamas, quoted an unnamed representative of the militants as saying that an invasion of Rafah "blow up" negotiations mediated by the United States, Egypt, and Qatar aimed at a ceasefire and the release of Israeli hostages.

Netanyahu, for his part, suggested that civilians in Rafah could flee north, as there are "plenty of areas" that have already been cleared by the IDF.

"But the offensive has caused widespread destruction, particularly in northern Gaza, and heavy fighting is still taking place in central Gaza and the southern city of Khan Younis. A ground operation in Rafah could also force the closure of its crossing, cutting off one of the only avenues for delivering badly needed food and medical supplies," the agency explains.

Officials speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed Egypt's threats.

Camp David Accords

Israel and Egypt fought five wars before signing the Camp David Accords - a peace treaty brokered by then-US President Jimmy Carter in the late 1970s. In particular, the document contains provisions regulating the deployment of forces on both sides of the border.

Israel's war with Hamas

On October 7, 2023, militants from the radical Palestinian Islamic movement Hamas attacked Israel from the Gaza Strip. During the attack, terrorists killed and abducted military and civilian personnel en masse, while simultaneously shelling the country's largest cities with rockets.

At the end of October, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched a ground military operation in the Gaza Strip, which is ongoing. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that the goal of the operation is the destruction of Hamas's operational and governmental capabilities, as well as the release of hostages.

The Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on February 1 that Hamas had given its preliminary consent to a ceasefire and an agreement on the release of hostages. US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer discussed an agreement that would allow the release of 136 hostages.

However, Netanyahu recently rejected Hamas's proposal for a ceasefire to return hostages and emphasized that a complete victory by the IDF in the Gaza Strip is imminent.

Meanwhile, the Israel Defense Forces are preparing to storm Rafah, the last major city in the Gaza Strip controlled by Hamas, on the border with Egypt.