January 30, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israel, Egypt Consider Shared Border Security

January 30, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israel, Egypt Consider Shared Border Security

Latest Developments

The heads of Israeli and Egyptian intelligence agencies spoke on January 29 about possible security cooperation along the Egypt-Gaza border. After concluding hostage negotiation talks in Paris, Israel’s Shin Bet head Ronen Bar and Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel convened in Cairo to discuss other issues related to the war in Gaza. The Philadelphi Corridor — an 8.7-mile land route along the Egypt-Gaza border — constitutes a key strategic location for Israel, as it is likely the smuggling route that Hamas exploited to build its weapons arsenal in Gaza.

Expert Analysis

“Closer cooperation between Israel and Egypt along — and under — the Philadelphi Corridor is desperately needed. While Cairo may not wish to admit it yet, the weapons that Hamas has accumulated over the years entered the Strip via this small corridor. Hamas fighters have left and returned thanks to lax enforcement of tunnels. This must change, and it must change soon, if Hamas is to be defeated.” — Jonathan Schanzer, FDD Senior Vice President for Research

“Unlike mainstream populist Egyptian officials who controlled the narrative lately, Abbas Kamel belongs to the invisible Egyptian foreign policy establishment camp that values strategic relations with Jerusalem. It’s time to step up in such historic circumstances by assisting with the elimination of Hamas. The weaker the terror group gets; the more prosperous Sinai will be and the safer southern Israel will be.” — Haisam Hassanein, FDD Adjunct Fellow

Philadelphi Corridor

Reports circulated in mid-January that Israel may be preparing a military operation to secure the Philadelphi Corridor. In response, Cairo warned Jerusalem on January 22 that an Israeli operation along Egypt’s border with Gaza would present a “serious threat” to Egypt-Israel relations and cross a “red line.”

For years, tunnels running under the Egypt-Gaza border have facilitated terrorist activity and illicit commerce. Criminals leverage the subterranean route to transport drugs into Gaza. Hamas also uses the smuggling route to transport weapons and everyday goods. Hamas taxes and charges customs on these everyday goods, creating a significant source of revenue for the terrorist group.

Cairo Warns Against Israeli Operation on Egypt-Gaza Border,” FDD Flash Brief

Hamas Tunnels to Egypt Played Key Role in Arming Hamas,” FDD Flash Brief

10 Things to Know About Hamas Tunnels,” FDD Insight


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