Attempts by Hamas to replace the current contractor at the Kerem Shalom Crossing on the Israel-Gaza border has resulted in a closure of the checkpoint.
Hamas has been actively trying to push the Palestinian Authority out and take charge of the management of Kerem Shalom so that they may collect revenue from goods that enter Gaza.
The crossing was closed after the Palestinian contractor responsible for the Palestinian side decided not to open the crossing Monday.
Over 70 trucks laden with food and other goods were stalled on the Israeli side of the crossing.
An Israeli government statement said that “these actions by Hamas endanger the current security arrangements and threaten the operability of the crossing.”
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Major General Eitan Dangot, spoke this morning with senior officials in the Palestinian Authority to keep them informed of events as they unfolded and to emphasize that Israel cannot allow the operation of the crossing under such circumstances, given the security risks.
Kerem Shalom is the primary site for commercial goods crossing into the Gaza Strip and is therefore a vital portal for Gaza. It is located on the southern border between Israel and Gaza. An average of 300 trucks with food and other essentials transfer there every day. The crossing has been the site of numerous terror attacks in the past that have forced the crossing to close temporarily; today’s events, however, are the first time that Hamas has closed Kerem Shalom in this manner.