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Satellite Photos: Egypt Building Wall near Gaza Border

via NBC
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Satellite images show Egypt constructing a walled enclosure near its border with Gaza, as Israel prepares an offensive against Hamas in the Gaza city of Rafah.

The photos correspond to videos of ongoing construction along the Egypt-Gaza border road, including cranes and barriers.

According to the Egyptian newspaper al-Ahram, “The governor indicated the ongoing work in the Egyptian city of Rafah — located to the west of the Palestinian Rafah across the Egypt-Gaza border — concerns cataloging buildings demolished during the country’s recent war on terrorism.”

While Egypt publicly objects to Israeli actions in Gaza, the border construction is seen as quietly assisting Israel by providing a place for Palestinian civilians to flee the fighting.

Egyptian officials have denied the purpose is to house Palestinians, claiming the work is demolishing buildings from its anti-terrorism campaign.

However, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has rejected accepting Palestinian refugees, suggesting instead they be stranded in Israel’s Negev desert.

President Sisi said, “It is important that [Palestinian] people remain steadfast and present on their lands.”

Sisi also asked, “If there is an idea to ​​displace Palestinians from Gaza, why not transfer them to the Negev until the armed groups in Gaza, such as Hamas and PIJ, are eliminated?”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken reportedly, “emphasized the United States’ rejection of any forced displacement of Palestinians from Gaza and commitment to establishing a Palestinian state that provides peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians alike.”

Biden reportedly told Sisi “that under no circumstances will the United States permit the forced relocation of Palestinians from Gaza or the West Bank, or the besiegement of Gaza, or the redrawing of the borders of Gaza.”

As Israel works to eliminate the last Hamas battalions in Rafah and rescue remaining hostages, the US has backed Egypt not forcing Gazans’ relocation, despite leverage from military aid.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “It is impossible to achieve the goal of the war of eliminating Hamas by leaving four Hamas battalions in Rafah.”

“On the contrary, it is clear that intense activity in Rafah requires that civilians evacuate the areas of combat,” he added.

Israel says civilians must evacuate before intense combat with Hamas in Rafah.

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