Egyptians, IDF exchange gunfire at Rafah border crossing: reports

The Israeli Defense Forces are investigating a "shooting incident" at the Rafah border crossing, with Israeli media reporting that Egyptian forces were involved.

Egyptians, IDF exchange gunfire at Rafah border crossing: reports

Egyptian service members and Israeli Defense Forces exchanged gunfire Monday at the Rafah border crossing along the Gaza Strip, the Times of Israel is reporting.

Other Israeli media outlets are reporting that an Egyptian soldier was killed Monday during the incident. 

The Israel Defense Forces said "a shooting incident occurred on the Egyptian border" and that the "incident is under review and discussions are being held with the Egyptians." 

A statement from the Egyptian Armed Forces later said it was "conducting an investigation by the relevant authorities regarding the incident of gunfire in the border area of Rafah, which led to the martyrdom of one of the personnel assigned to the protection duty."

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The gunfight comes just hours after an Israeli airstrike on a Hamas compound in Rafah killed two top Hamas officials as well as dozens of civilians.  

While the exact number of killed remains unclear at this time, the IDF confirmed that it struck a Hamas compound in which "significant Hamas terrorists were operating." 

The IDF said it carried out the strike "against legitimate targets under international law." 

IDF sources told Fox News Digital the strike eliminated Yassin Rabia, the commander of Hamas’ leadership in Judea and Samaria, as well as Khaled Nagar, a senior official in Hamas’ Judea and Samaria wing. 

The IDF said both men had perpetrated numerous terrorist attacks in the early 2000s in which Israeli civilians and soldiers were killed. 

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The IDF acknowledged reports that "several civilians in the area were harmed" from the airstrike and a subsequent fire. It said the incident is "under review" as well. 

"Despite our utmost efforts not to harm innocent civilians, last night, there was a tragic mistake," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday to Israel’s parliament, according to The Associated Press. "We are investigating the incident and will obtain a conclusion because this is our policy."

Last week, the United Nations’ top court issued an order demanding Israel "immediately halt its military offensive" against Hamas in Rafah, the Palestinian terrorist group’s final stronghold in the Gaza Strip.  

"The military ground offensive in Rafah, which Israel started on 7 May 2024, is still ongoing and has led to new evacuation orders," the International Court of Justice said in its ruling. "As a result, according to United Nations reports, nearly 800,000 people have been displaced from Rafah as of 18 May 2024."  

It added that the "immense" humanitarian risks "associated with a military offensive in Rafah have started to materialize and will intensify even further if the operation continues."  

But Israeli government spokesperson Avi Hyman, when asked about the ICJ order on Friday, declared, "No power on earth will stop Israel from protecting its citizens and going after Hamas in Gaza."  

"We will destroy Hamas, we will return peace and security to the people of Israel and to the people of Gaza," Hyman added. "We cannot go on with a genocidal terrorist regime on our southern border." 

Fox News’ Bradford Betz and Trey Yingst contributed to this report.