The IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) coordinated the re-opening of the Kerem Shalom Crossing from Israel into Gaza at the request of Jordan to deliver civilian assistance from the Hashemite Kingdom.
According to a statement TV7 obtained from the COGAT Spokesperson’s Unit, 3 mortar shells were fired by the terrorist organizations in Gaza yesterday as a convoy of trucks loaded with medical equipment intended for a Jordanian hospital in the Palestinian enclave were set to make their way through the crossing.
“As a result, an alert was activated in the area and the decision was made to stop the entry of the shipment until further notice,” according to the statement.
Humanitarian aid deliveries of medical equipment, animal feed and fuel tanks for the use of international organizations in the Gaza were also prevented on Tuesday when both the Kerem Shalom and Erez Crossings came under mortar fire. A 19-year-old IDF soldier was wounded during the attack at the Erez Crossing.
Even though the checkpoints have largely been forced to close due to attacks by the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror groups in Gaza during Operation Guardian of the Walls, Israel’s Minister of Defense Benny Gantz had approved the aid convoys following a request of the international community, said COGAT.
“Hamas keeps putting terror ahead of the welfare of its own residents,” emphasized one COGAT official.
On 13 May, COGAT revealed more than 230,000 Gaza residents were cut off from electricity after Hamas shot power lines in the Strip. 250,000 residents lost their water supply after Hamas disabled the desalination plant in Gaza City, and the sewage treatment plants in Rafah were also damaged by the Islamist terror group’s own actions.
Two days later, a long-range rocket launched from Gaza caused heavy damage to the Omar Al-Qassam hospital in the Palestinian village Azun east of Qalqilya.
“Over the past few months, this hospital has been used to receive and treat COVID-19 patients, as well as to house related medical facilities and store equipment,” said COGAT, stressing that, “This incident serves as additional proof that the terrorist organizations in Gaza place no value on human lives – be they Israeli lives, Gazan lives, or the lives of Palestinians in Judea and Samaria.”
The Erez Crossing also came under Hamas mortar fire last Friday, as Muslims prepared to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr (Feast of Breaking the Fast) festival celebrating the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
“While the State of Israel works to save the lives of Gaza patients, the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip do not apply to any means, and continue to harm the residents of the Gaza Strip and bring destruction on them,” responded COGAT.
“Hamas has brought upon you a holiday with no electricity and no water,” said the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Major General Rassan Alian, in a direct videotaped message to Gaza residents posted on COGAT’s ‘Almunasseq’ Facebook account, warning Hamas is “using you as human shields.”
“We want your children to grow up in a different reality, and we even made some progress in that direction — toward a world with jobs and increasing prosperity,” said Maj. Gen. Alian, underscoring that, “To our great sorrow, seven years after the rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip and following the investment of efforts to improve the civil conditions there, it has all come to nothing at the instigation of Hamas.”
–By Erin Viner