October 12, 2023 | Flash Brief

Egypt Signals Openness on Its Gaza Border as Crisis Mounts

October 12, 2023 | Flash Brief

Egypt Signals Openness on Its Gaza Border as Crisis Mounts

Latest Developments

Egypt signaled a measure of willingness on October 12 for its border with the Gaza Strip to become an outlet for Gaza residents seeking refuge. As fighting raged into a sixth day and Israel’s retaliatory strikes for the weekend massacre by Hamas caused mass displacement among Palestinians, the Foreign Ministry in Cairo said it was preparing to use the Rafah crossing on the Egypt-Gaza border to bring in aid.

There was no immediate sign, however, that Egypt would reverse its long-standing reluctance to admit Palestinians en masse from Gaza into its Sinai peninsula. For now, Egyptian officials said aid shipments from Qatar and Jordan will land in Sinai’s Al Arish International Airport, with their cargo awaiting a humanitarian corridor into Gaza for delivery. Israel has not yet formally offered to open up such a corridor, however.

Despite explosions on the Gazan side of Rafah, apparently from Israeli munitions, the crossing remained open for travelers, Egypt said. It admits them under strict quotas and with pre-approval by Cairo.

Expert Analysis

“As a beneficiary of extensive U.S. support and as a security partner of Israel, Egypt must step up in the crisis. For years now, the Israeli military has been quietly helping Cairo stave off ISIS-linked insurgencies in the Sinai. Now a Hamas version of ISIS has savaged Israel, and Egypt will be called upon to close ranks. Helping bring in aid is a good start. But a humanitarian corridor, if established, should also enable the departure of Palestinian civilians — including, temporarily, into Egyptian territory — so as to spare lives and give Israel the chance to eradicate Hamas. At the same time, Israel should condition the provision of aid on Hamas’ release of hostages.” — Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“Egypt has maintained close ties with Hamas and other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip, frequently undertaking the role of an intermediary during periods of turmoil between Gaza and Israel. Nevertheless, at the moment, it seems that Egypt will require convincing from its partners to permit a large influx of Palestinian from Gaza to enter the country, who may eventually reside there without a definite date of departure.” – Joe Truzman, Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

It’s the hidden hand of Khamenei’s regime in Iran that set the Middle East ablaze — and will trigger all-out war.,” by Mark Dubowitz

Turning Congressional Outrage Into Action: A U.S. Response to Hamas’ War Against Israel,” by Mark Dubowitz and Richard Goldberg

What the US and Israel need to do next in face of Iran terror,” by Richard Goldberg


Arab Politics Egypt Gulf States Israel Israel at War Palestinian Politics