Not for the first time, Hamas, which rules Gaza, has destroyed access to humanitarian aid, damaging the crossing and forcing it to shut down.
Tens of Palestinian of rioters on Friday vandalized and set fire to the Palestinian side of the Kerem Shalom humanitarian crossing in Gaza, damaging gas pipelines that run from Israel to the Strip.
This is the second time in recent days that rioters, led by Hamas, have sabotaged humanitarian efforts that Israel and other countries carry out on behalf of Gaza’s residents.
The damaged gas depot and pipes carry fuel and gas from Israel into the Gaza Strip.
The rioters also ransacked several of the border crossings through which humanitarian aid from Israel and the international community flows to Gaza residents. They burned offices, buildings and gas tanks, and damaged the fences.
Following the destruction of the Kerem Shalom Crossing, Israel’s Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman approved the IDF’s recommendation to close the passageway until further notice. It will remain closed until the damages caused by the riots, estimated at some NIS 30 million, are repaired.
The crossing will reopen in accordance with a situation assessment, the IDF said.
The rioters’ actions have brought to a halt dozens of trucks that carry merchandise and equipment to Gaza from Israel on a daily basis, including fuel.
IDF: Hamas Terror Group Harms Gazans
“The Hamas terror organization is harming the wellbeing of Gazans,” the IDF said. “Israel and other countries work to deliver goods such as food, equipment and fuel to Gaza’s citizens, initiatives which Hamas’ actions prevent. Hamas is responsible for everything that happens in Gaza, above and below ground.
Due to the vandalizing of the Kerem Shalom humanitarian crossing, for the second time in two weeks, by Palestinian rioters, the crossing will be closed until further notice to allow for repairs. Hamas is responsible for this and other acts of violence,” IDF Spokesman Lt. Cl. Jonathan Conricus stated.
The destruction of the Kerem Shalom Crossing was part of the so-called March of Return weekly riots, orchestrated by Hamas.
Approximately 15,000 Palestinians participated in riots along the Gaza border, hurling pipe bombs, rocks and grenades at IDF forces stationed on the border as well as sabotaging security infrastructure and burning tires
IDF troops responded with riot-dispersal means and used live fire in accordance with the rules of engagement when threatened.
“The IDF will continue operating to protect Israeli citizens,” the IDF stated.
These latest events occurred amid the daily violence on the Israel-Gaza border, orchestrated by Hamas, the Islamic terror group that rules the Strip and calls for Israel’s destruction.
For the past seven weeks, Hamas has been leading a series of protests under the “March of Return” banner. The terrorist group says the riots will culminate with “decisive” action on May 15, the 70th anniversary of the State of Israel, which the Palestinians observe as Nakba Day, meaning “Day of Catastrophe.”
Some 45 Palestinians, mostly terrorists, have been killed in the weeks-long clashes.
The IDF is making special preparations for massive riots on the border with Gaza that are expected in the coming days as Israel and the US will celebrate the historic move of the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.