Israel seizes control of border area between Gaza, Egypt

The Israeli military says it has captured a border area between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. This comes amid Israel's continued military operation in southern parts of the enclave.

An Israeli military spokesperson said on Wednesday that Israeli forces had taken "operational control" of the Philadelphi Corridor. He added that about 20 tunnels had been discovered there.

Israel says the area was used to smuggle weapons and other goods from Egypt to Gaza. Israel had controlled the roughly 14-kilometer-long corridor until 2005.

Egyptian media quoted a high-ranking Egyptian official as denying the presence of tunnels in the area.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces continued their attacks on Rafah, where many people are taking shelter.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society said on Wednesday that two of its staff were killed when an ambulance carrying them was struck by the Israeli military in western Rafah.

The Israeli military also resumed fighting Hamas combatants in northern Gaza, an area it said earlier that its troops had taken control of.

A senior Israeli government official said on Wednesday that the fighting in Gaza is expected to continue for another seven months to destroy the military and governing capabilities of Hamas.

Health authorities in Gaza said on Wednesday that the death toll in the enclave since the start of the conflict had climbed to 36,171.