Israel’s proposed invasion of Rafah threatens to upend its peace treaty with Egypt, according to Egyptian officials on Sunday. This comes after Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed its proposal to enter into Rafah, a Gaza city near Egypt’s border in an interview with ABC News. Netanyahu deemed an invasion of Rafah as essential to fully crush Hamas, calling the city Hamas’ last major stronghold.
Since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas conflict, Rafah has seen an increase in its population due to Palestinian refugees. At least 1.4 million Palestinians have sought safety in the city, crowding themselves together in refugee camps and shelters near the border to Egypt.
According to AP News, two Egyptian officials opposed the proposed invasion due to the likelihood of Palestinian refugees fleeing across the border. This alongside the fact that Rafah is Gaza’s main entry point for humanitarian aid.
Israel’s treaty with Egypt, named the Camp David Accords, was created in 1978 following the destructive Arab-Israel War. Supervised under then US president Jimmy Carter, the treaty granted Israel and Egypt 40 years of stability in that region.
Other officials across the Arab world and in Europe joined the outcry against Israel’s proposed invasion, with even a Hamas official stating to al-Aqsa channel that if it were to go through, an invasion in Rafah would eliminate ongoing negotiations for Israeli hostages.
The US also echoed global condemnations of Israel’s plan in a Friday conference, adding that US Secretary of state, Antony Blinken, expressed their views towards Israeli officials during his visit.
Additionally, Paige Alexander, chief executive of the Carter Center shared a statement condemning Israel’s plan and restating the importance of the Camp David Accords.
“The Camp David Accords were led by three brave men who took a bold stance because they knew the lasting effects for peace and security,” said Alexander. “both then and for the future. We need the same kind of leadership today, and it is currently lacking in the Israeli government.”
Israel has already revealed plans to evacuate Palestinian civilians from Ragah prior to the invasion. That said, it’s currently unknown where these civilians will be located due to the condition of the proposed locations in the north.