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Israel seizes Gaza's entire border with Egypt

1 min

Israeli forces have taken control of a buffer zone along the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.

"The Philadelphi Corridor served as an oxygen line for Hamas, which it regularly used to smuggle weapons into the area of the Gaza Strip" © JCPA

Israeli forces have taken control of a buffer zone along the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, the country's military said on Wednesday, giving Israel effective authority over the Palestinian territory's entire land border.

In a televised briefing, chief military spokesperson Daniel Hagari said Israeli forces had gained "operational" control over the "Philadelphi Corridor", using the Israeli military's code name for the 14 km-long (9 mile) corridor along the Gaza Strip's only border with Egypt.

"The Philadelphi Corridor served as an oxygen line for Hamas, which it regularly used to smuggle weapons into the area of the Gaza Strip," Hagari said. Hamas is the armed Palestinian group that governs the blockaded territory.

The border with Egypt along the southern edge was the Gaza Strip's only land border that Israel had not controlled directly.

Earlier on Wednesday, Israel sent tanks on raids into Rafah. They had moved into the heart of Rafah for the first time on Tuesday despite an order from the top United Nations court to immediately halt the assault on the city.

By Nidal al-Mughrabi

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