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Netanyahu supported closure of border between Gaza Strip and Egypt

Netanyahu supported closure of border between Gaza Strip and Egypt Photo: Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu (Getty Images)

The border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip "must" be closed, and this step will give Israel complete control over the Palestinian enclave's access to the outside world. This statement was made by the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, according to CNN.

During a press briefing, the head of the Israeli government stated that Israel would not consider the war over until the Philadelphia Corridor, a 14-kilometer strip serving as a buffer zone on the border between Egypt and Gaza, is closed.

"We’ll destroy Hamas, we’ll demilitarize Gaza, and military equipment and other deadly weapons will continue to enter this southern opening, so of course we need to close it," said Netanyahu.

He also noted that the border must be closed until the end of the war, as the UN agency warns of famine.

According to him, Israeli officials have not decided how exactly they will proceed with the closure of the border. However, this would mean a restoration of Israeli control over the enclave, which has not been the case for many years, and would strike a blow to the limited sovereignty of Palestinians in the region.

The Gaza Strip is bordered by Israel on two sides, and its Mediterranean coastline and airspace are also under strict Israeli blockade. Its border crossing point with Egypt in the city of Rafah is the only crossing not controlled by Israel, although access to it is still restricted, and Egyptian bureaucratic and security procedures are lengthy and complex.

Closing the Gaza Strip border with Egypt

On January 13th, Tel Aviv informed Cairo of its plans to launch a military operation to take control of the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. Meanwhile, Egypt rejected Israel's proposal for joint patrols by Israeli forces on the Egyptian side of the border.

Earlier, Benjamin Netanyahu outlined three conditions that must be met for the end of the war against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

At the same time, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on Israel to stop causing additional harm to the civilian population in the Gaza Strip.