Egypt threatens to suspend key peace treaty if Israel pushes into Gaza border town, officials say
Egypt has warned that it may suspend its longstanding peace treaty with Israel if Israeli forces enter Rafah, a crowded Gaza border town.
Egyptian officials and a Western diplomat indicated that potential fighting in Rafah could lead to the closure of Gaza's main humanitarian aid route. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists that occupying Rafah is essential to defeat Hamas in the ongoing conflict.
The region is under high tension as Rafah, now housing over 1.4 million displaced residents, risks becoming the center of humanitarian disaster if Israel advances.
Aid organizations are concerned about further humanitarian deterioration in Gaza, where the majority of the population has been displaced and starvation is imminent for some. Netanyahu has suggested relocating Rafah's civilians northward but has not detailed these plans.
Egypt has bolstered its border defenses against potential surges of refugees from Gaza. The Camp David Accords, a peace agreement with Israel dating from the 1970s, controls military deployments along the border.
Violations of this treaty by Israel's advancement into Rafah could strain diplomatic relations and intensify the humanitarian crisis.
Meanwhile, as Israel directs civilians to move south, its airstrikes continue throughout Gaza, including in Rafah, resulting in significant Palestinian casualties.
Gaza's Health Ministry reports a large number of deaths and injuries in the last 24 hours. The conflict, which escalated on October 7 with Hamas' attacks on Israel, has so far seen demands from both sides unmet, as Israel seeks total victory and the return of all captives.