The occupation of the Rafah crossing is the opportunity to shape the day after the war

The occupation of the Rafah crossing by the IDF is an important step in the beginning of the realization of the war goals of overthrowing the rule of Hamas. Israel must complete the task in order to create the strategic change necessary for a new era in the Gaza Strip.

The occupation of the Rafah crossing by the IDF on May 7 symbolizes more than anything the beginning of the collapse of Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian side of the crossing was fully under the sovereignty and control of Hamas, now it is in the hands of Israel.

The Rafah crossing lies on the “Philadelphia Corridor” which extends for a distance of 14 kilometers along the Egyptian border with the Gaza Strip, it is the main smuggling route for weapons for Hamas in the Gaza Strip from Egyptian territory.

The Rafah crossing is the only gate left for Hamas in the Gaza Strip to the outside world, the Erez crossing to Israel was closed last October 7, the IDF now controls both crossings.

The smuggling is done on the ground itself, through the Rafah crossing, where Hamas pays bribes to Egyptian officials at the crossing to smuggle, for large sums of money, weapons into the Strip and also through dozens of tunnels dug under the “Philadelphia Corridor” itself.

That is why it is very important that the IDF complete the operation and move west to occupy the entire “Philadelphia Corridor” area.

The seizure of this territory will show that Israel is blocking the Gaza Strip from all sides and it can now begin to plan the transfer of control of the territory of the Strip, at the end of the war, to another governing body that is not Hamas.

According to American sources, Israel informed the Biden administration that it intends to soon transfer control of the Rafah crossing to an American security company. This is probably not the end of the story.

The Rafah crossing is of strategic importance and it is forbidden for Hamas to control it any longer, Israel controlled the Rafah crossing until 2005 and returned to it after 19 years, therefore it is very important that it carefully plans its steps to whom to transfer control of the crossing and how to prevent Hamas from returning and taking control of the crossing by force.

The occupation of the Rafah crossing must mark the beginning of a new era in the Gaza Strip that will symbolize the complete collapse of Hamas rule.

Yoni Ben Menachem Senior Middle East Analyst

About Yoni Ben Menachem

Yoni Ben Menachem is a Middle East senior analyst ,a journalist and
the former CEO of the Israel Broadcasting Authority(IBA). He has
decades of experience in written and video journalism. Ben
Menachem’s path in the media world began as a producer for
Japanese television in the Middle East. After that, he held many key
positions in the media The Israeli: CEO of the Israel Broadcasting
Authority, director of “Kol Israel” Radio, reporter on West Bank and
Gaza Strip affairs, political reporter and commentator, commentator
on Middle East affairs and editor-in-chief and presenter of the
program “Middle East Magazine”. 

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