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Second Egyptian soldier reportedly dies from Rafah border clash

The incident is likely to escalate the already tense Egypt-Israel relations triggered by the Israeli ground operations in Rafah as it seized the Rafah Border Crossing. [Getty]

Another Egyptian soldier reportedly died in the early hours of Tuesday from wounds sustained during clashes that had erupted between Egypt’s army forces and Israeli troops a day earlier near the Rafah Border Crossing in North Sinai.

The Sinai Foundation for Human Rights, a London-based Egyptian group, posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, citing local sources as claiming that 21-year-old Ibrahim Islam Abdel-Razak was the second Egyptian soldier killed following an exchange of fire between Egyptian forces and Israeli army personnel on the border with the besieged Palestinian Rafah City.

While the Egyptian army has neither confirmed nor denied the demise of Abdel-Razek, family members and social media users mourned the soldier, attaching pictures of him in military uniform.

A family member sadly wrote on social media that Abdel-Razek had only 50 days left to finish his two-year military service.

The New Arab could not independently verify the news about the second soldier’s death.

Also on Tuesday, hundreds of Egyptians joined the funeral of 22-year-old Abdullah Ramadan in Fayoum province, southwest of the capital, Cairo, believed to have been killed in the same incident so far marred by contradictory accounts.

Egyptian military personnel, stationed on the border with the Palestinian Rafah in north-eastern North Sinai province, had reportedly exchanged fire with Israeli army troops on Monday, with unconfirmed news that at least seven Israeli soldiers were injured and five others killed.

The Egyptian army declared in a brief t statement hours later that an official investigation into the incident had been underway.

Shortly afterwards, the Israeli Defence Forces released a vague statement, saying that “Israel had been in touch with the Egyptian side to coordinate investigations into the shooting incident.”

The circumstances surrounding the incident on the border remain unclear, as both the Egyptian and Israeli narratives did not provide information on which side shot first.

The incident is likely to escalate the already tense Egypt-Israel relations triggered by the Israeli ground operations in Rafah as it seized the Rafah Border Crossing with Gaza earlier this month.

The Rafah crossing with Egypt is located along the Salah Al-Din (Philadelphi) corridor, a buffer zone controlled by Egypt.

But Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, the Arabic-language sister publication of TNAreported on Tuesday, citing Israeli news outlets as claiming that both Egypt and Israel agreed to maintain a status quo and downplay the incident.

Monday’s shooting is believed to have been triggered by the Israeli airstrike on a “safe zone” displacement camp at a late hour on the previous day, killing at least 40 people, some burned alive. Since the Israeli onslaught in Gaza first broke out in October last year, at least 36,000 Palestinians have been killed, mostly women and children.

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