Egypt Erects Potential Refugee Shelter Area at Gaza Border

( – Egypt has denied making preparations to receive a large number of Palestinian refugees, despite four sources reporting to Reuters that Cairo is preparing shelters as a contingency ahead of the Israeli siege of Rafah, a major city in Gaza.

Cairo has warned that any major military action in Rafah could trigger a mass exodus into neighboring Egypt; Jordan has previously issued similar concerns. The United States also opposes the forced relocation of Palestinian refugees seeking to escape the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.

Palestinian health authorities have reported upwards of 30,000 dead and double as many injuries. They additionally suggested those estimates were conservative as not every injury results in seeking treatment and there are potentially thousands of bodies still buried beneath the rubble of Gaza’s bombed-out metropolitan centers.

One of the sources claimed that the Egyptian government was hopeful that a cease-fire agreement could be reached, but didn’t want to be caught off guard in the event it wasn’t. He suggested further that the shelters along the border with Gaza were temporary and precautionary.

Three sources who work in security in Egypt also confirmed the existence of the shelters. They reported that a desert area with basic amenities like water, food, and bedding was being prepared. All three emphasized that the facilities were only being constructed as a temporary precautionary measure.

Israel is preparing to assault Rafah, which its military representatives have called the “last bastion” of Hamas. Over a million Palestinians live in the city or have taken refuge there as Israel besieged the northern part of the territory.

Egypt’s official state security apparatus reported to the media that the rumors of the shelter’s existence “have no basis in truth.” They said that there is “no preparation for this possibility,” contradicting the anonymous insiders.

An activist organization showed images of construction vehicles and heavy cranes working near the border. That organization, the Sinai Foundation for Human Rights, additionally said that they consulted an unnamed source who also suggested the area was for potential Palestinian refugees fleeing Rafah.

Israel argues that it has to attack Rafah to accomplish its military objective of eradicating Hamas.

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