ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 142

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Jerusalem, Cairo said nearing agreement on postwar arrangement for Egypt-Gaza border

Illustrative: Egyptian soldiers patrol on a road parallel to the Philadelphi Corridor, a buffer zone that separates Egypt from Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip, March 19, 2007. ( Cris Bouroncle/AFP)
Illustrative: Egyptian soldiers patrol on a road parallel to the Philadelphi Corridor, a buffer zone that separates Egypt from Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip, March 19, 2007. ( Cris Bouroncle/AFP)

Israel and Egypt are nearing an agreement regarding the sensitive question of postwar control of the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, Army Radio reports.

Talks have been held for weeks amid disagreements about the extent of Israeli control over the border area, known as the Philadelphi Corridor.

The report cites unnamed officials familiar with the details as saying that Israel has promised not to act militarily in the area of the Gaza city of Rafah, near the Egypt border, before the population staying there — currently around 1 million people — is given adequate time to evacuate to other parts of the Strip.

Cairo’s main concern is reportedly that if not given an opportunity to move elsewhere, waves of Palestinians will instead stream into Egypt, creating a refugee crisis for the country.

Israel hasn’t decided where it wants the population to move, with the options either northern Gaza — requiring a government decision to allow Gazans to go back there — or Khan Younis, after the current phase of intense fighting there is over, the report says.

After that happens, the reportedly emerging deal would see Israel have a “certain influence” over the Philadelphi Corridor — possibly via unspecified technological means — but without a physical presence along the border.

An unnamed Gulf state will likely fund the construction of a subterranean wall along the border to counter cross-border tunnels, but will only do so if Egypt agrees to the whole outline, Army Radio adds.

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