Israeli Army to Remain in Philadelphi Corridor for at Least 6 Months

Israeli army says it’s close to ending military offensive on southern Gaza city of Rafah

The Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Friday that the Israeli army will maintain its presence in the Philadelphi Corridor along the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt for a minimum of six months.

The daily said that during the eighth week of the Rafah offensive, the Israeli army discovered 25 tunnel entrances along the Philadelphi Corridor, spanning around 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the Tal al-Sultan neighborhood on the southern Gaza Strip waterfront to the Israeli border near Kerem Shalom.

It further stated that more time will be needed to secure and definitively destroy the 25 tunnels discovered thus far, as well as locate the remaining tunnels.

An unnamed Israeli military official, quoted by the daily, said: “I estimate that this operation will continue for at least another six months, necessitating our ongoing presence on Philadelphi Corridor due to its slow and intricate nature.”

The daily also noted that the Israeli army says it is nearing the conclusion of its military offensive on Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

The official pointed out that this requires “permanent positioning of the Israeli army and launching raids on nearby Rafah neighborhoods in order to deepen the achievements of attacking Hamas.”

Israel, flouting a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire, has faced international condemnation amid its continued brutal offensive on Gaza since an Oct. 7, 2023 attack by the Palestinian group Hamas.

More than 37,700 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, most of them women and children, and over 86,400 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Over eight months into the Israeli war, vast tracts of Gaza lie in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water, and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, whose latest ruling ordered it to immediately halt its military operation in the southern city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6.

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