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Israel takes full control of Egypt border on Philadelphi corridor including Rafah crossing, Knesset moves to declare UNRWA a terror organisation

The IDF reportedly found dozens of rocket launchers placed by Hamas along the border, a politically sensitive area. The border is technically a demilitarized zone under the terms of the Camp David Accords signed in 1978.

The Israel Defence Forces said on Wednesday it was in full “operational control” of the entire Gaza-Egypt border and has so far located 20 tunnels leading into the Egyptian Sinai.

The 14 km strip of land along the border is known as the Philadelphi corridor, a buffer zone created to prevent weapons smuggling in 2006 after Israel disengaged from the Strip. But in 2007, Hamas violently seized control of Gaza from the Palestinian Authority.

The army said troops were physically present in most of the corridor, except for a portion of near the Mediterranean coast which is controlled by surveillance and firepower.

The army said it was aware of the presence of some of the cross-border tunnels. Another 82 shafts within the corridor area that did not cross the border were also discovered and will be destroyed.

The IDF reportedly found dozens of rocket launchers placed by Hamas along the border, a politically sensitive area. The border is technically a demilitarized zone under the terms of the Camp David Accords signed in 1978.

Israel took control of the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt and most of the border on May 7.

At least 1,200 people were killed, and 252 Israelis and foreigners were taken hostage in Hamas’s attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on October 7. Of the 125 remaining hostages, 39 are believed dead.

Knesset brings motion to declare UNRWA a terror organisation

The Knesset plenum approved a preliminary reading of legislation designating the UN Relief and Works Agency as a “terror organisation” on Wednesday. The bill, which must clear further legislative hurdles, would pave the way for Israel to sever ties with the UN agency.

Specifically, the legislation authorizes the Foreign Ministry to make the final determination on the terror designation. The agency would then be stripped of its diplomatic immunity, tax-exempt status, and other legal benefits.

The bill’s preliminary reading passed by a vote of 42-6.

Following the vote, MK Avigdor Liberman, who heads the right-wing opposition Israel Beiteinu party, said on X, formerly known as Twitter, “Today it is more clear than ever that UNRWA, which assisted in the murder, kidnapping and rape of Jews during the October 7 attack, does not assist refugees, but only the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip.”

UNRWA has been under fire for months, with Israeli officials demanding the agency be stripped of its authority in Gaza and defunded amid revelations that members of the agency’s staff participated in Hamas’s October 7 attacks.

Israel’s largest bank froze UNRWA’s account in February over suspicious financial transfers that the agency failed to adequately explain. Israeli forces discovered a Hamas complex located directly under the UNRWA’s Gaza City headquarters. Computer servers belonging to Hamas were directly connected to UNRWA’s electricity system.

Soldiers have found weapons stored in UNRWA facilities on multiple occasions.

Jerusalem’s deputy mayor accused UNRWA of undermining Israeli sovereignty over the city, among other things.

Reports released by IMPACT-SE and UN Watch documented UNRWA employees expressing support for the October 7 attacks on social media.

The UN probed Israeli accusations against 19 UNRWA staffers. But to Israel’s ire, the investigations were dropped as UN officials claimed the evidence presented was insufficient. As a result, Israel is bypassing UNRWA in distributing humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian refugees are the only refugee population with its own dedicated UN agency. The rest of the world’s refugees fall under the mandate of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Israeli officials have called for UNRWA to be closed and for Palestinian refugees to be brought under the responsibility of the UNHCR.

At least 1,200 people were killed, and 252 Israelis and foreigners were taken hostage in Hamas’s attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on October 7. Of the 125 remaining hostages, 39 are believed dead.

UNRWA owes over 7 million USD in rent, asked to vacate Jerusalem: Reports

Media in Israel has reported that the Israel land authority have asked the UNRWA to vacate their East Jerusalem premises in 30 days, by the approval of the Israeli Housing Minister Yitzhak Goldknopf. The UNRWA has also been informed that they owe a sum of NIS 27,125,280 (around 7.3 million USD) to the Israeli government for rental and other purposes for the last seven years. The UNRWA compound in the Ma’alot Dafna area of East Jerusalem was operating without the approval from the Israeli government, the letter by ILA says.

(with inputs from ANI)

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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