IDF: Rafah Crossing Completely Destroyed, No Longer Usable

Prior to its destruction, the crossing served as a crucial lifeline to bring food and other aid to over a million Palestinians

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that Gaza’s lone border crossing with Egypt had been completely destroyed by its operations in the area. In recent days, the IDF has targeted the few undestroyed areas left in the Strip.

On Wednesday, Israeli Army Radio reported that the Rafah crossing was now unusable. “This is how Rafah crossing looks today, completely destroyed and no longer usable, after being taken over by Brigade 401 in one night,” the radio station stated. “Due to its relative proximity to the border, the Israeli army used the crossing as a stopping point and resting area.”

The Gazan media ministry reported the destruction on Monday, stating that  “Occupation forces damaged Rafah crossing’s halls that were used by locals to exit the Strip.” Images reviewed by the Middle East Eye reportedly showed the exterior of the structure was incinerated.

Israel began its operations in Rafah on May 7. Prior to the assault, the crossing served as the main lifeline for more than one million displaced civilians who were sheltering in the city. Over the past six weeks, aid shipments into the Strip have plummeted by two-thirds, triggering fears of full-blown famine.

Tel Aviv places the blame for the increasing starvation on the Palestinians. However, aid agencies point to the Israeli military operations throughout Gaza as creating unsafe and unstable conditions that make aid deliveries impossible.

In recent days, the IDF has stepped up operations in south and central Gaza. The bombing in southeastern Rafah and Deir al-Balah has destroyed some of the only areas in the Strip that have not seen intense fighting over the past eight months.

The Israeli military radio station explained that its operations in Rafah are aimed at establishing lasting control over the Gaza-Egypt border, known as the Philadelphi Corridor. “The Israeli army has already started thinking about the long-term control of the Philadelphi Corridor,” the station explained.

The assault on Rafah has led to the displacement of over one million people. Oxfam reports that many of the refugees have been driven into tent camps facing severe deprivation and shortages of essential goods. In a statement, the aid agency said, “Living conditions are so appalling that in Al-Mawasi, there are just 121 latrines for over 500,000 people.”

Before Israel invaded Rafah, President Joe Biden claimed to have imposed a red line on Tel Aviv, insisting it must have a plan for the civilians before attacking the city. Sally Abi Khalil, Oxfam’s Middle East and North Africa Director, said that the criteria have not been met.

“Israel claimed weeks ago that it would provide full humanitarian support and medical assistance to civilians it had told to move,” she added. “Not only is this not happening, its ongoing impunity, bombardment, and deliberate obstruction have created unprecedented and impossibly dangerous conditions for humanitarian agencies to operate.”

Still, the White House has refused to take any meaningful action against Tel Aviv and has continued most military aid in support of the Israeli onslaught. On Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said one shipment of 2,000-pound bombs is under review but stressed that “everything else is moving as it normally would move.”

Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of, news editor of the Libertarian Institute, and co-host of Conflicts of Interest.