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Foiling Drug Smugglers at Border with Israel Sparks Intense Gunfire and Arrests In Egypt

In a recent incident reported by Reuters on January 16, 2024, Egypt successfully thwarted a drug smuggling attempt near the border with Israel, particularly at the Al-Awja-Nitzana crossing in the Sinai peninsula. An exchange of gunfire took place, resulting in one person being killed, while six drug smugglers were arrested.

According to the army spokesperson, the suspects were apprehended south of the Al-Awja-Nitzana crossing, known as the Nitzana crossing in Israel. The Israeli army’s Arabic spokesperson, Avichay Adraee, mentioned that 20 suspects, including gunmen, approached the border near Nitzana and were fired upon by Israeli soldiers. Injuries were reported in the incident.

The Al-Awja-Nitzana crossing is approximately 40 km (25 miles) south of Rafah, which serves as the main crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. Notably, Rafah has been the primary entry and exit point for humanitarian supplies into Gaza, especially since the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas on October 7. Israel inspects a significant portion of the aid at the Nitzana crossing.

It’s highlighted that security incidents on Egypt’s border with Israel are infrequent, but there is a history of smuggling activities from the Sinai region. Egypt has taken measures to enhance security along its border in recent years, including the establishment of a buffer zone near the border with Gaza. Both Egypt and Israel have maintained a blockade on the Gaza Strip since 2007 when the Palestinian militant group Hamas assumed control of the territory.


Joan David-Leonhard

Joan David Leonhard is a recent Pharm.D graduate with a strong passion for the pharmaceutical industry and a particular interest in pharmaceutical media and communication. Her brief internship experience includes roles in pharmacy where she built strong patient-pharmacist relationships and a pharmaceutical media internship where she actively contributed to drug information articles, blog posts, social media engagement, and various media projects.
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