Israel is seeking to alleviate Gaza’s suffering, while Hamas is seeking to intensify it.
Israel opened the Kerem Shalom Crossing into Gaza on Tuesday and enabled the passage of goods into the Strip, despite the damage repeatedly caused by Palestinian rioters to the site.
Hamas, however, has blocked the passage of goods into the Strip, further strangling the residents of Gaza. Hundreds of trucks loaded with goods were forced to turn around and drive back.
Israel Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman approved the IDF’s recommendation to reopen the crossing for the transporting of goods into Gaza on Tuesday, despite the fact that Palestinians set fire to the site during the Hamas-led massive riots on Monday, marking the third time in two weeks Palestinians torched the crossing.
The fuel depot at the crossing, the only line running into Gaza, will remain closed until the damages caused by the riots, estimated at some NIS 30 million, are repaired. Officials say it could take months to repair the damage.
Israel is working to avert a humanitarian crisis in the Strip, a possible outcome of the mass riots on Israel’s southern border.
The United Nations has warned that an alternative way of getting fuel to Gaza must be found immediately, otherwise dwindling supplies needed to run hospitals, pick up garbage, pump water and treat sewage will run out.
The appeal late Sunday by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) came two days after hundreds of Palestinian rioters, led by Hamas, destroyed the Kerem Shalom fuel terminal at the main cargo crossing with Israel, the only entry point for fuel to Gaza.
Hamas Harming the Well-Being of Gazans
Israel has held Gaza’s Hamas rulers responsible, while the Islamic terror group has not commented publicly.
“The Hamas terror organization is harming the well-being of Gazans. 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,” the IDF explained.
The destruction of the Kerem Shalom Crossing was a continuation of the Hamas-led weekly riots, dubbed the “March of Return,” that began on March 30.
In the meantime, the IDF is on high alert in preparation for another onslaught on Israel’s border Tuesday, the Palestinian Nakba Day (“day of catastrophe”), on which Palestinians mourn the establishment of the Jewish state.
“The IDF will continue to prevent mass terror attacks, which have largely been orchestrated by the Hamas terror organization,” a spokesman stated. “All terror activity will be met with a harsh response. IDF troops will continue to defend Israel and its civilians.”