Rafah is a Palestinian city and refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip. It is the district capital of the Rafah Governorate, located south of Gaza City. Rafah's population of 152,950 (2014) is overwhelmingly made up of Palestinian refugees. Rafah camp and Tall as-Sultan camp form separate localities.
When Israel withdrew from the Sinai in 1982, Rafah was split into a Gazan part and an Egyptian part, dividing families, separated by barbed-wire barriers. The core of the city was destroyed by Israel and Egypt to create a large buffer zone.
Rafah is the site of the Rafah Border Crossing, the sole crossing point between Egypt and the State of Palestine. Gaza's only airport, Yasser Arafat International Airport, was located just south of the city. The airport operated from 1998 to 2001, until it was bombed and bulldozed by the Israeli military (IDF) after the killing of Israeli soldiers by members of Hamas.