AThe same AP sources warned that the fighting could force the closure of the main route for supplying humanitarian aid to the besieged territory.
The three officials confirmed Egypt’s threats on condition of anonymity, claiming that they were not authorized to inform journalists about the negotiations, which they considered sensitive.
The threat to suspend the Camp David Accords, a cornerstone of regional stability for almost half a century, came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that sending troops to Rafah was necessary to win the war, which has been raging four months ago, against the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.
More than half of Gaza’s population, 2.3 million inhabitants, fled to Rafah to escape fighting elsewhere and is concentrated in UN-run tent camps and shelters near the border.
Egypt fears a massive influx of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees who may never be allowed to return.
The standoff between Israel and Egypt, two close US allies, comes as aid groups warn that an offensive in Rafah could worsen the already catastrophic human situation in Gaza, where around 80% of residents have fled their homes. and where, according to the UN, a quarter of the population faces hunger.
Hamas’ Al-Aqsa television station quoted an unnamed official from the Islamist group as saying that any invasion of Rafah would “break” with talks mediated by the United States, Egypt and Qatar aimed at a ceasefire and liberation. of the Israeli hostages.
Netanyahu, in an interview with ABC News’ “This Week with George Stephanopoulos”, suggested that civilians in Rafah could flee north, saying that there are “many areas” that have been cleared by the army and that Israel is developing a “plan detailed” to move them.
The Israeli offensive caused widespread destruction, particularly in northern Gaza, and intense fighting continues in central Gaza and the southern city of Khan Younis.
Today, in Gaza City, the remaining residents covered the decomposing bodies in the streets or carried the bodies to the graves.
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