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Egypt rejects deployment of joint forces with Israel on Gaza border

New Delhi, Dec. 18: Egypt has rejected the deployment of a joint Egyptian-Israeli force on the Philadelphia axis near the border with the Gaza Strip, reports Anadolu Agency, citing the Israeli media on Monday.

“A recent Israeli bombing of the Philadelphia axis has angered Cairo, especially since the area is subject to a bilateral agreement that requires obtaining prior permission before carrying out any military actions,” Israeli public broadcaster KAN said.

Egyptian officials are worried that any Israeli military operations in the area would have a direct impact on the situation in the Sinai Peninsula.

“Cairo repeatedly reiterated that there were no tunnels in this area,” KAN said.

The same issue was raised during recent discussions held by Shin Bet Director Ronen Bar with Egyptian officials, the broadcaster said.

The Philadelphia axis is a narrow strip within the territory of the Gaza Strip, extending 14 km (8.7 miles) along the border between the enclave and Egypt.

Israeli Army Radio reported Sunday that Tel Aviv was planning to build an underground anti-tunnel wall near the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.

Israel believes that the underground tunnels have been key to Hamas operations on the battlefield.

Israel has launched air and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip in retaliation for the Hamas attack, killing at least 19,453 Palestinians, mostly children and women, according to health authorities in the seaside enclave.


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