Protests by Israeli Captives’ Relatives Hinder Gaza Aid Delivery Via Karm Abu Salem Crossing

(AWP) - Security tensions caused by protests held by the families of Israeli hostages caused the closure of the Karm Abu Salem commercial border crossing in southern Gaza last week. Though it was recently reopened, the daily number of trucks carrying aid and merchandise to the Strip has been greatly reduced.

The number of trucks entering the embattled enclave has plummeted from 500 to 70 trucks per day, according to Mohamed Sheikh Eid, Director of the Karm Abu Salem Crossing’s Financial and Administrative Affairs Circle.

“The Karm Abu Salem crossing is the only outlet for the Gaza Strip, as far as commercial goods are concerned. During this war, only 70 to 80 trucks have been able to enter via the crossing daily, which is not enough for the needs of the people in Gaza, because the number of displaced people in Rafah is close to 1.5 million,” he explained.

“In the past, this crossing was used to deliver  500 truckloads of commodities. We wish to see the number of these trucks increasing in a manner that meets the needs of the people in the Gaza Strip during this war,” added Eid.

He concluded by saying that the crossing had been shut down for three or four days last week due to protests by relatives of Israeli captives, noting that although it was reopened, an insufficient number of trucks for Gaza's needs is now allowed to enter.

Supporters and members of the families of the Israelis taken hostage by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) inside Gaza gathered at the crossing in large numbers for days, causing its closure and hindering aid trucks’ entry into the besieged strip, as the Israeli army announced that the area surrounding the crossing was a closed military zone.

The Israeli war on Gaza has claimed the lives of more than 26,000 Palestinians and injured tens of thousands of people, according to official Palestinian statistics.