Rafah Crossing between Egypt and Gaza
Rafah Crossing between Egypt and GazaAbed Rahim Khatib/Flash90

Israel has informed Egypt of its intention to begin a military operation along the Philadelphi Route in southern Gaza, the Wall Street Journal reported, quoting current and former Israeli officials and Egyptian officials.

According to the report, the military operation would likely include removing Gazan officials from crossing points, and placing Israeli forces along the border area.

The report noted that Egypt is concerned that such an operation on Israel's part could violate the terms of the 1979 peace agreement between Egypt and Israel, which limits the number of troops both nations can place near the borders in the area.

Israeli officials said that they are working to coordinate the operation with Egypt, in an effort to address Cairo's concerns.

WSJ noted that such an operation would deal "a strategic blow" to Hamas, by allowing Israel to block the terror group's tunnels in the area, limit the flow of weapons, prevent terrorists from crossing the border into Egypt, and remove Hamas' control over the crossing.

According to the report, Egypt recently rejected an Israeli proposal to station Israeli security personnel on the Egyptian side of the border for joint patrols with Egypt, claiming that such a move would be a breach of Egyptian sovereignty.

A senior Israeli military official told WSJ, “Israel does not want to be responsible for Gaza in the long term, but the question is how do you make sure that Gaza stays demilitarized? It’s a real dilemma. The only way to control a geographic area is to control what’s going in and out.”

“Right now in the near term, in the next few decades, Israel needs to control the borders because of the security issues."