Israel has captured the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing. This is what it means

Israel has captured the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing. This is what it means

The Israeli army on Tuesday said it had seized control on the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing, a key entry point for aid to Gaza on the Egyptian border.

A Palestinian official said all movement had stopped at the facility in southern Gaza after it was captured by Israeli tanks.

Here’s what to know about crossings:

What is the Rafah intersection? The facility is the only Gaza border crossing not controlled by Israel, which closed its crossing with the Palestinian territories following a Hamas attack on October 7. Since the start of the war, the Rafah crossing has emerged as an important location that allows limited humanitarian aid, and the evacuation of a small number of Palestinians and foreigners.
What’s going on there now? Israeli forces have seized control on the Gaza side of the Rafah crossing, an Israeli military official said on Tuesday. The official said a military operation at the crossing was ongoing, but declined to say how long Israeli forces would control the facility. It comes after days of deadly Israeli airstrikes on Rafah, and Israeli evacuation orders for Palestinians in parts of the city.
What is meant by help? The UN agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) said the arrests could halt humanitarian aid efforts across Gaza, if supply routes for aid and fuel are disrupted. CNN has reached out to Israeli military and officials for comment on any plans to ease the delivery of aid to Gaza.
What about Israel’s broader plans? A source familiar with Israel’s plans told CNN that the Israeli operation into Rafah would be “very limited,” aimed at keeping up pressure on Hamas to agree to a deal that would bring a ceasefire and a hostage-release deal. The source said the operation was not a major incursion into Rafah that Israel had been openly sending for weeks.
Where does this leave the Palestinian refugees? The hundreds of thousands of people displaced in Rafah are now at a loss as to where to go next, with thousands fleeing relentless Israeli airstrikes. More than 1 million Palestinians have fled to Rafah during the seven-month war, with many of their homes destroyed or inaccessible in the northern part of the strip.

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