Turkish aid shipments arrived in the Gaza Strip via Israel on Monday, a week after Israel and Turkey announced they would end a six-year rupture and normalize ties.
About 11,000 tons of cargo, including clothing, toys and medicines destined for the Hamas-run coastal territory, were ferried to the Israeli port of Ashdod by a Turkish ship that docked on Sunday.
Under the supervision of the Turkish Red Crescent Society, the first of about 500 trucks carrying the aid entered the Gaza Strip, territory controlled by Hamas, through Israel’s Kerem Shalom crossing.
As the first truck left the Ashdod port, dozens of relatives of Israeli soldiers missing and imprisoned by Hamas in Gaza held a protest demonstration against the agreement with Turkey which granted direct access to the coastal territory before their loved ones were brought home.
The first truck from the Turkish transport ships arrived from Ashdod Port to the Kerem Shalom crossing. The truck contained a shipment of toys (dolls and teddy bears), as well as diapers, in cartons bearing the Turkish flag. (Ministry of Defense Crossing Authority)
“This is the first (aid) ship after the Turkish and the Israeli governments’ agreement,” said Kerem Kinik, president of the Turkish Red Crescent, who traveled to Gaza to supervise the distribution of the goods.
He said Turkey would provide “continuous, regular humanitarian assistance” for the territory.
Israel’s Ministry of Defense Crossing Authority personnel and COGAT officials unloaded the goods and prepared them for transfer into Gaza.
Last week, some 3,400 trucks carrying 107,500 tons of goods, including medical supplies, electronic devices, consumer goods and construction material, entered the Gaza Strip via Israel, according to Israeli authorities.