The Egyptian warning to Israel

Egypt to Israel: entering Rafah without an agreement with us, will result in a reaction from our side

עיתון בין אויבים

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We do not know what response the Egyptians intended in their message to Israel. Egypt recently sent offensive forces into Sinai, contrary to the peace agreement with Israel (see our report last week). Israeli source: Netanyahu has so far avoided entering Rafah, because of the Egyptian threat, and he wants to reach an agreement with Egypt before entering Rafah.


By Meir Gurno our commentary on military and security matters


Last week we wrote here (see the main story) that Hamas is giving up its demand for an end to the war. Now it turns out that this is indeed what the organization informed Qatar, but it is trying to replace the demand for the cessation of the war, with the demand that the ceasefire process will be an agreed platform for negotiations on the cessation of the war. A cease-fire agreement conflicts with Israel's intention to enter Rafah, and in order to increase and expand this obstacle, Egypt informed Israel that if Israel enters Rafah without a prior agreement with Egypt, an agreement that will detail all the limitations on such an entry, for example the exact places to which the IDF is referring to enter, the scope of the forces, entry with special forces and not as a maneuver, and more, then Egypt will respond to such an Israeli entry. We do not know what response the Egyptians intended in their announcement, and in our estimation, Egypt did not even specify in its warning what response it intended.

An important Israeli source said that Benjamin Netanyahu is delaying the entry of the IDF into Rafah, due to the Egyptian warning, which could affect the peace agreement that was signed: "Netanyahu is more afraid of Egypt's reaction than he is of the US's reaction," said the source. On the one hand, Netanyahu believes that entry into Rafah is necessary for Israel's victory over Hamas, and on the other hand, he fears the consequences of such an entry on relations with Egypt. Egypt's warning, the source said, has so far prevented the decision to enter Rafah, and it is behind the delay in entering the city.

Last week we reported that Egypt brought missiles and tanks into Sinai, contrary to the peace agreement and without Israel's approval. In doing so, Egypt gave military validity to its warning.