Philadelphi Route

The term Philadelphi Route refers to the strip of land that marks the border between Egypt and Gaza from which Israel withdrew following the Disengagement.

Definition

The term Philadelphi Route refers to a strip of land[1] that marks the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip from which Israel withdrew (11/05) following the Disengagement from Gaza (8/05).

Background

The 1978 Camp David Accords did not specifically mention the Philadelphi Route. Nevertheless, the agreement stipulated that the international border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip would pass through the town of Rafah, following the route of the border between Egypt and Mandatory Palestine.

The Philadelphi Route took on increasing political importance after Israel's withdrawal from Gaza under the Disengagement.

The official goal of Disengagement was to end Israeli responsibility over Gaza. However, for Israel to achieve at least de-facto international recognition of its End of Responsibility, it needed to cede control over Gaza's external perimeter.

This led to the Agreement on Movement and Access (Rafah Agreement) (11/05) in which Israel ended its presence in the Philadelphi Route and transferred responsibility for security arrangements to Egypt and the PA under the supervision of the EU.

In light of the continued Qassam rocket fire from Gaza, Israel launched a temporary military operation in the Philadelphi Route (11/06) to destroy tunnels and prevent arms smuggling. However, the continued firing of rockets from Gaza has caused renewed discussion over the possibility of re-exerting Israeli control over the area.2



1 The Philadelphi Corridor is approximately 12km long and 1km wide.

2 See Ronny Sofer: YNET: 10/22/06; full text and Herb Keinon: Jerusalem Post: 10/22/06 full text