Shooting between Egyptian, Israeli personnel near Rafah kills one Egyptian

The two governments say the exchange of fire near the Egypt-Gaza crossing is being investigated.

The “competent authorities” are investigating the death of a member of an Egyptian security team in a shooting near the Rafah border zone, Egypt’s military spokesperson says.

Earlier on Monday, Israel’s military said it was also investigating reports of an exchange of fire between Israeli and Egyptian personnel near the crossing between Egypt and the besieged Gaza Strip.

“The competent authorities in the Egyptian Armed Forces are investigating a shooting incident near the border strip in Rafah, which has led to the death of one of the personnel securing the area,” Egyptian Colonel Ghareeb Abdel Hafez Ghareeb said on X, formerly Twitter.

Israel seized control of the vital Rafah border crossing from the Palestinian side of the border this month as it launched a long-threatened military offensive in the overcrowded area, drawing strong criticism from the international community, including Egypt.

Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty in 1979 and have cooperated since then on security issues, especially around the border between Egypt and Gaza.

Rami Dajani, project director of Israel and Palestine with the International Crisis Group, said the overall situation in Rafah and the Israeli operations there are already causing “tensions across the board”.

‘National security’ concerns

Dajani added: “The Egyptians have a great deal of concerns about these developments right at its border. … The security implications are extremely important for Egyptian national security.”

Early in May, Israel launched its widely criticised assault on Rafah, a narrow area in southern Gaza where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians had sought refuge from Israel’s attacks across the enclave.

INTERACTIVE Gaza Rafah border crossing closed Israeli tanks-1715153393

At its most crowded, Rafah was home to about 1.5 million people, most of whom are now on the move, trying to get away from Israel’s tanks and air raids.

Late on Sunday, Israeli forces bombed a displacement camp in a designated safe zone in Rafah, killing 45 Palestinians, most of them women and children.

The attack has triggered a renewed international outcry, leading to more calls for a ceasefire.

Israeli forces have also continued to bomb shelters housing displaced Palestinians in other areas, including Jabalia, Nuseirat and Gaza City, killing at least 160 others, according to Palestinian officials.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies