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IDF takes control of Palestinian side of Rafah crossing

IDF takes control of Palestinian side of Rafah crossing Illustrative photo (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

Israeli forces have seized control of the Palestinian side of the Rafah checkpoint overnight on Tuesday, May 7, according to Haaretz.

The military operation was led by the 162nd Division and the 401st Armored Brigade in cooperation with special units operating in the eastern part of Rafah.

According to the army's statement, the military destroyed over 150 Hamas targets, and the forces gained full control of the Palestinian side of the checkpoint, located about 3.5 km from Egypt.

At least 20 Hamas members were killed, and terrorists' tunnel shafts were destroyed.

According to military sources, the tunnel shafts in this area were part of Hamas's underground defensive route that does not cross into Egyptian territory.


Reports indicate that on May 6, Israeli forces began urging people to evacuate the area east of Rafah. Israeli forces distributed leaflets in the eastern part of Rafah, sent text messages to Palestinians instructing them to evacuate, and began making phone calls.

The day before, according to Axios sources, the United States suspended arms supplies to the Israeli army and attempted to delay the Israeli military's advance on Rafah.

In late March, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Charles Brown proposed alternatives to the IDF's ground offensive on the city of Rafah. According to media reports, the White House administration called on the Israeli government to refrain from a total assault on settlements.