Israeli tanks capture Rafah border crossing

Israeli tanks seized control of the Palestinian side of the Rafah border this morning and closed the crossing to aid deliveries into the besieged territory.

Footage released by the Israeli military showed a tank entering the crossing, which is also vital for evacuations from Gaza, after a night of heavy strikes on the southern Gazan city.

Israel also said that it had closed the Kerem Shalom crossing and that it will only reopen “when the security conditions allow it.”

The Israeli military claimed it seized the crossing after receiving intelligence it was “being used for terrorist purposes.” The military did not provide evidence to immediately support the assertion, though it alleged the area around the crossing had been used to launch a mortar attack that killed four Israeli troops and wounded others near the Kerem Shalom Crossing. 

Israel launched the operation to seize the Rafah crossing with ceasefire negotiations on a knife-edge after prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected Hamas’ acceptance of an Egyptian-Qatari deal last night.

Mr Netanyahu’s office said the truce proposal fell short of Israel’s demands but Israel would send a delegation to meet with negotiators to try to reach an agreement.

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