Skip to main content

War on Gaza: Egyptian soldier killed in exchange of fire with Israeli forces near Rafah crossing

Egypt confirms death and says it is investigating the incident on the border with Gaza
An image of the Palestinian side of Rafah crossing taken by the Israeli military when it seized the area on 7 May (AFP)
An image of the Palestinian side of Rafah crossing taken by the Israeli military when it seized the area on 7 May (AFP)

An Egyptian soldier was killed in an exchange of fire with Israeli forces at the Rafah crossing on Egypt's border with the Gaza Strip on Monday.

Kan public broadcast said no Israeli soldiers were hurt in the incident which left one Egyptian killed and others wounded.  

The Israeli military said: "A few hours ago there was a shooting incident on the Egyptian border, the [incident] is under investigation, dialogue is taking place with the Egyptian side." 

Egypt's military confirmed one person was killed and said it is investigating the shooting.

Daily News Egypt, an independent English-language Egyptian newspaper, cited unnamed sources as saying Egyptian soldiers were "affected" by the Rafah massacre on Sunday, in which an Israeli bombing led to the killing of 45 Palestinians at a displacement camp.   

Stay informed with MEE's newsletters

Sign up to get the latest alerts, insights and analysis, starting with Turkey Unpacked


Middle East Eye could not independently verify the reports. 

It was no immediately clear how the fire exchange began. Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, an independent Qatar-based news website, said the Egyptian soldier was killed by sniper fire, according to a security source.

The source said the Egyptian side did not shoot first. The Israeli public broadcaster said the Egyptian side fired first and Israeli soldiers acted in self-defence.

The Rafah border crossing was seized by Israeli forces earlier this month as the military expanded its ground invasion of Gaza into the southern city of Rafah. 

The occupation of the crossing increased tensions between Egypt and Israel, threatening 45 years of peace between the two countries, which had previously fought four wars.

The Israeli takeover of the crossing angered Egypt, which usually cooperates closely on security matters with Israel. 

An Egyptian military source previously told Middle East Eye there had been "no operational coordination" between Egypt and Israel before the crossing was seized.

A week after Israel stormed the crossing, Egypt deployed additional armoured personnel carriers and soldiers to its border with Gaza in northeastern Sinai, according to the Sinai Foundation for Human Rights. 

Cairo has also refused to open the border crossing from the Egyptian side until the Israeli military withdraws, saying that operating the crossing was exclusively an Egyptian-Palestinian matter.

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.