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Israel gains operational control of Philadelphi Corridor along Gaza-Egypt border: spokesman

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-05-30 05:04
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JERUSALEM, May 29 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli army announced on Wednesday that it has gained full operational control of the Philadelphi Corridor, a strip of land along the border between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip.

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Spokesman Daniel Hagari said the corridor served as Hamas's "oxygen tube" through which they smuggled weapons into the Gaza Strip.

During the operation, the forces located along the corridor dozens of loaded launchers ready to fire rockets and launch pits from which Hamas fired rockets and mortar bombs into Israel, Hagari said.

"Hamas took advantage of the Philadelphi area and built these infrastructures just tens of meters away from the border with Egypt so that we wouldn't attack them," Hagari said.

He added that the Israeli forces also located about 20 tunnels in the corridor area, which are being investigated and neutralized.

The Philadelphi Corridor, spanning 14 kilometers in length and several hundred meters in width, was established following the return of the Sinai Peninsula from Israel to Egypt in 1982, as stipulated by the peace agreements between the two countries.

It was under Israeli supervision until 2005 when the IDF left the Gaza Strip, and its control passed to the Palestinian Authority. After two years, Hamas took over the corridor until the current conflict.

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