The Egyptian Army has deployed a number of M60A3 “Patton” main battle tanks and YPR-765 infantry fighting vehicles near the Rafah Border Crossing between the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt and the Gaza Strip. This comes as fears continue to mount that Palestinian refugees may soon begin to flood the region.
Pictures show dozens of the vehicles stationed near the border. The M60A3 is an upgrade over the M60A1, featuring enhanced turret armor, improved gun stabilization, improved fire control system, and a new selection of 105mm ammunition. Egypt maintains one of the largest fleets of M60s in the world, with over 1,000 tanks in service.
The YPR-765 infantry fighting vehicle was based on the AIFV (Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle) design that was developed by the FMC Corporation in the U.S. It replaced the French-made AMX-VCI and YP-408 of the Royal Netherlands Army and entered service in 1977. The vehicle carries a crew of three plus seven passengers (usually five transported).
Egypt fears an influx of tens of thousands of refugees from the fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. The Rafah crossing, the only escape route for Gazans that doesn’t lead into Israel, has largely remained closed, opening sporadically to allow the passage of aid trucks. As the conflict intensifies, the crossing is expected to become a major artery for refugees desperately seeking safety.
The Egyptian Army’s deployment of tanks and infantry fighting vehicles to the Rafah border crossing is a sign of the country’s concern about the potential for a refugee crisis. The deployment is also a message to Israel that Egypt is prepared to use force to protect its border and its people.
The deployment of tanks and infantry fighting vehicles to the Rafah border crossing is a concerning development. It is a sign that the conflict between Israel and Hamas is escalating, and that the risk of a wider conflict is increasing. The international community must work to de-escalate the situation and to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.
The Egyptian Army’s deployment of tanks and infantry fighting vehicles to the Rafah border crossing is a significant development. It shows that Egypt is taking the threat of a refugee crisis seriously, and that it is prepared to use force to protect its border and its people.
It sends a message to Israel regarding its handling of the situation. Egypt has historically played a mediation role between Israel and the Palestinians, but this deployment suggests a level of impatience and concern about the broader regional stability.
The Egyptian Army has numerous tank in it’s inventory. Of more or less modern combat vehicles, Cairo has 34 T-80U tanks and 1,100 M1A1 Abrams. 840 T-54/55 units and 500 T-62 units, only 200 are in service, the remaining are in storage.