The Philadelphi Route refers to a narrow strip of land situated along the border between Gaza and Egypt. Under the provisions of the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty of 1978, the buffer zone was controlled and patrolled by Israeli forces. After the 1995 Oslo Accords, Israel was allowed to retain the security corridor along the border. One purpose of the Philadelphi Route was to prevent the movement of illegal materials (including weapons, ammunition and illegal drugs) and people between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. Palestinians in cooperation with some Egyptians have built smuggling tunnels under the Philadelphi Route to move these into the Gaza Strip.
In September 2005 following Israel's unilateral disengagement plan, the Israel Defence Forces handed over control of the route to the Palestinian National Authority. Since the Battle of Gaza (2007) it has been controlled by Hamas.
In January 2008, Palestinian militants destroyed several parts of the wall bordering the town of Rafah. Thousands of Gazans flowed into Egypt in search of food and supplies. In January 2009, citing anonymous Western diplomats, Reuters reported that the Israeli military was considering retaking the Philadelphi Route area in order to prevent Hamas from rearming.
- ↑ pictures: Searching for Gaza's tunnels
- ↑ Weapon Smuggling Tunnels in Rafah - Operation Rainbow
- ↑ "Egypt 'won't force Gazans back'". BBC News. 23 January 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7205668.stm. Retrieved 2008-01-23.
- ↑ Entous, Adam (12 January 2009). "Israel weighs seizing Gaza border corridor-diplomats". Reuters. http://uk.reuters.com/article/middleeastCrisis/idUKLC32967.