Israel Seizes Key Border Crossing In Southern Gaza

May 7, 2024

This appears to be a limited operation, but of course, much of that depends on what comes next.

United States Department of State spokesman Matthew Miller discussing Israel taking control of a border crossing in Rafah, a city in southern Gaza where more than one million civilians have taken shelter amid the seven-month-long Israel-Hamas war. Israel has been expected to launch a larger offensive in Rafah.

Why It Matters: Early on Tuesday, Israel took control of a border crossing in Rafah. In a statement on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “The entry into Rafah serves two of the main objectives of the war: Returning our hostages and eliminating Hamas.” The border crossing also serves as a major entry point for aid sent into Gaza and has been temporarily closed – along with another crossing, Kerem Shalom – which was closed after Hamas attacked Israeli forces nearby.

Big Picture: The seize came less than one day after Hamas said it accepted a ceasefire proposal; according to a statement from Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office, however, the proposal is “far from Israel’s necessary requirements,” but Israel will engage in ongoing talks to exhaust the possibility of reaching an agreement under conditions acceptable to Israel.

Read More: Israeli military takes control of vital Rafah crossing from Gaza into Egypt (Reuters)

Gaza cease-fire talks at ‘critical stage,’ US says, after Hamas claims it accepted proposal (ABC News)

by Emily Hooker, based in Texas