Skip to main content

Israeli security chiefs in Cairo to discuss possible Rafah invasion

In Egypt, IDF chief Herzi Halevi and Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar reportedly discussed Israel's plan to enter Rafah as well as the possibility of restarting negotiations for a hostage deal.
A boy helps a vendor arrange his merchandise as he sets up before the rubble of a collapsed building in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on April 23, 2024 amid the ongoing conflict in the Palestinian territory between Israel and the militant group Hamas.

Israel Defense Forces chief Herzi Halevi and Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar traveled to Cairo today to meet with head of the Egyptian intelligence services Abbas Kamel. The purpose of the meeting, reported Ynet, was to discuss Israel’s plan to enter Rafah and Cairo’s fears that such an operation will drive thousands of Palestinians to try to cross the border into Egypt. 

Israel’s public broadcaster Kan reported that apart from discussing Rafah, the security chiefs also discussed the possibility of jump-starting talks after last week, when Hamas reportedly rejected the latest proposal by the mediators for a release of hostages in exchange for a cease-fire in Gaza. An advancement in talks could push back Israel’s plan to launch an operation in Rafah, the Egyptians hope.

The Israeli security cabinet is set to meet Thursday afternoon to discuss these two issues.

Israel's military has conducted most of the necessary preparations for an operation in Rafah, the largest city in the south of the Gaza Strip, where more than 1.4 million displaced people are currently located, according to Kan. Israel considers the city the last large bastion of Hamas. The plan apparently includes blocking the Philadelphi Corridor, a stretch of land separating Egypt and the Gaza Strip. 

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.