Latest Israel-Hamas war news: Egypt and Israel investigate border ‘shooting incident’

Egypt’s armed forces said it was investigating a shooting incident in the Rafah border area Monday that killed a member of its security forces — underscoring the risk of spillover from the Gaza war and putting further strain on Cairo’s relations with Israel.

The Israel Defense Forces confirmed a “shooting incident at the Egyptian border” and said it was also investigating. “A dialogue is underway with the Egyptians,” the IDF added in a statement. Neither Egypt nor Israel said who opened fire first.

A former Egyptian official told The Washington Post that details of the incident could be outlined by a joint committee as early as Tuesday, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive issue.

Before Oct. 7, Egyptian and Hamas border authorities each managed their respective sides of the Rafah crossing, which sits along the Philadelphi Corridor, a no man’s land approximately nine miles long and several hundred yards wide that stretches from the southernmost tip of Gaza to the Mediterranean Sea.

Israeli troops have returned to Rafah in recent weeks for the first time since 2005, when the country withdrew its forces from the Gaza Strip. Cairo has warned Israel that its operations in Rafah could risk undermining the 1979 Egypt-Israel peace treaty — a landmark accord that led to a half-century of coexistence and cooperation between the once-bitter foes.


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Egypt has long advocated for Palestinian self-determination while serving as a key interlocutor between Israel and Hamas during past conflicts in Gaza. Cairo is now working in conjunction with Qatar as a mediator in ongoing negotiations for a cease-fire in Gaza and the release of Israeli hostages.

A U.S. congressional delegation, led by Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) visited Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi on Monday, according to the government’s State Information Service. “The members noted Egypt’s great contribution as a pillar of regional stability,” the statement said and “expressed their appreciation for Egyptian efforts to establish peace and security in the region.”

Relations between Tel Aviv and Cairo were never warm, but the two countries had developed a close security partnership in recent years and were pursuing deeper economic and energy ties. Israel’s move into Rafah is testing that relationship.

Egypt said in a statement May 12 that it would join South Africa’s genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice, citing the “severity and scope of Israeli violations against Palestinian civilians.”

The ICJ has yet to rule on the question of genocide, but ordered Israel on Friday to halt its operations in Rafah. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Monday to continue the war until achieving “absolute victory” over Hamas.

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said “Israel doesn’t get to decide whether or not the Palestinians have a right to self-determination.” Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud told reporters that Israel “cannot exist without the existence of a Palestinian state” and that “its security is served by building a Palestinian state,” urging Israel to work with the international community toward a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

The IDF said it expanded its operations against Hamas in eastern Jabalya over the past few days. It said in a statement Monday that its troops in northern Gaza killed militants in close-quarters combat, located large amounts of weaponry and dismantled an explosives manufacturing facility and tunnel shafts. The Israeli air force also struck a launch site in Jabalya, the IDF said, from which attacks had been launched toward the Israeli city of Ashkelon during the war.

The death toll in Gaza has surpassed 36,000 since the war began, according to the Gaza Health Ministry on Monday. At least 36,050 people have been killed and 81,026 injured in Gaza since the war started, said the ministry, which does not distinguish between civilians and combatants but says the majority of the dead are women and children. Israel estimates about 1,200 people were killed in Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack, including more than 300 soldiers, and it says 282 soldiers have been killed since the launch of its military operations in Gaza.

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