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I wrote this a couple of days ago:
I’ve noticed something. Almost every day without fail Kerem Shalom gets shot at by Hamas. Kerem Shalom is the ONLY goods crossing point into Gaza. Israel operates the crossing to control what goes in and exclude all the stuff that Hamas would like to get, like more rockets or weapons.
Well now we have video:
Israel has now closed the crossing.
Just as background. You can see a few large concrete enclosed pens. These are the areas where goods are unloaded and re-loaded. Trucks drive in from Israel and unload all their goods in one area. Goods are inspected (whole trucks are X-Rayed) and when all the trucks have been unloaded the Israeli staff clear out. The pen is then declared to be Gaza and the trucks and staff from the Gaza side move in.
Meanwhile if there is anything coming out (yes Gaza does export some produce), this is unloaded by Gaza trucks in the other pen. The Israeli trucks then move in to pick this up and carry it out.
No trucks cross the border directly.
Hamas have shot multiple mortars at this site every day. These arrive with barely any warning as they’re being fired from only a few kilometres away. You can see running for cover from the middle of one of these open concrete areas would be pants filling.
And lifting the “blockade” is one of the primary demands of Hamas and always has been. Yet they’re trying their best to get the only OPEN crossing closed down. That’s because they can’t move weapons or other contraband through it.
The real demand is to allow them to re-arm and re-supply their leaders with the contraband they need to maintain their stranglehold on their people.
Humanitarian reasons couldn’t be further from their evil minds.
— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) August 10, 2014
Here is the statement from the Israeli Defence Ministry:
“Starting at 06:00 … several rockets were intentionally fired at Kerem Shalom, hitting working areas at the crossing. Despite this, the transfer of goods continued until the afternoon hours; over 30 trucks laden with humanitarian equipment entered the Gaza Strip,” the ministry said in a statement.
“At approximately 12:30, an additional barrage of rockets was fired, directly hitting the crossing compound. It was decided not to endanger the workers at the site and to halt the transfer of goods until further notice,” according to the ministry, which provided security camera footage of what appear to be mortar shells slamming down in a truck parking area and nearby.
“Since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge, the Kerem Shalom Crossing has facilitated the passage of thousands of trucks laden with medical and hygiene equipment, food products, raw materials, textiles, animal food, cleaning materials and home utensils, as well as gas and fuels. The transfer of goods has been carried out in order to render humanitarian assistance to civilians living in the Gaza Strip,” the ministry said.