There is growing tension between Egypt and Israel as the latter continues to wage its brutal military assault and starvation campaign on the Palestinian civilian population of Gaza, raising the spectre of a refugee surge into the Sinai.
How long the tension between Egypt and Israel lasts depends on which side will cave in first. The outcome of this battle of wills could define the future relationship between the two countries, which have had a peace treaty in place since 1979.
But in the current volatile climate, the mounting tension between the countries is palpable. On his part, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi had reportedly rejected a phone call from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
On their part, Israeli politicians have ramped up criticism of Cairo over what they view as a lack of cooperation from Egypt on border security between Egypt's Sinai and the Gaza Strip.
Egypt accuses Israel of outright lying about several key points of contention, such as allowing crucial aid into Gaza and arms smuggling into the enclave.
The two sides are now locked in a fiery dispute over Israel's plan to occupy the Philadelphi Corridor, a 14-kilometre stretch of land that extends from the Mediterranean to Gaza's border with Israel, separating the Palestinian territory from Egypt.
Egypt oversees security in the corridor on the Egyptian side in the light of a 2005 agreement with Israel. The same agreement allowed the Palestinian Authority to control the area on Gaza's side before the 2007 takeover of the coastal enclave by Hamas.
The agreement, signed after Israel's withdrawal from Gaza, allows Egypt to deploy 750 border guards on its side of the border, whose mission is to prevent infiltrations and smuggling.
Nevertheless, with Israel tightening the noose around Gaza and Hamas maintaining rocket attacks on Israel, questions arise about where the Palestinian group gets its arms supply from.
Some Israeli cabinet members, including Netanyahu, believe this supply comes from Egypt through smuggling tunnels on the border with Gaza.
On 13 January, Netanyahu described Gaza's southern border with Egypt as a "hole" that must be closed.
Outraged over the accusations, Egypt put out a statement on 22 January, suggesting the smuggling of arms to Gaza came from Israel.
Observers in Cairo believe that by planning to occupy the Philadelphi Corridor, Israel wants to prepare for the next stage of its onslaught on Gaza: closing in on the southern Gaza city of Rafah, near the border with Egypt.
"The corridor should be a neutral area on the border between Egypt and Gaza," Saeed al-Zoghbi, a political science professor at Suez Canal University, told Al Majalla.
"By controlling this area, Israel will also control whatever Egypt can enter into Gaza in the future, which violates Egyptian sovereignty," he added.