Despite Attacks, IDF Sends Food, Supplies to Gaza
A report released by the IDF earlier this week stated that not one month had passed since the end of Operation Cast Lead at the beginning of 2009 when Gaza Arab terrorists had not fired mortar shells or missiles into Israel.
Certainly the current month, with the increased terror coming from Gaza, is no exception, and neither was last month, when, the army reported, Gaza Arab terrorists fired 90 missiles at Israel.
Nevertheless, the IDF has continued its policy of transferring food, medicine, and other humanitarian needs to Gaza. During the month of March alone, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), through the Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration, allowed the entry of 3,656 trucks carrying goods to Gaza Strip via the Kerem Shalom border crossing.
In addition to the food and medicine, the IDF and the Defense Ministry Crossing Authority, in conjunction with the Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration, allowed over 1,000 more trucks carrying building supplies. Over 50,000 tons of such supplies were brought into Gaza in March, in order to provide aid for the building of schools, homes, and community institutions. During the first quarter of 2011, more than three times the amount of building supplies entered Gaza than the total amount that entered in all of 2010.
Many Israelis have criticized the ongoing assistance Israel provides to Gaza, considering the “thanks” Israel gets in return. In the past, Israeli security officials have said that the building supplies that were sent into Gaza were used to build reinforced bunkers from where Gaza Arab terrorists could safely fire mortars and rockets into Israel. “Who knows,” says one Israeli security source. “It could very well be that the concrete used by the terrorists to build the underground bunker where Gilad Shalit is being held was given to Hamas by us.”
The IDF banned transfers of building supplies into Gaza for years, relenting only in the past few months.
The IDF, for its part, is aware of the danger in transferring building supplies into Gaza. In a statement, the army said that the supplies are transferred through the Sufa crossing, which is “located in a vulnerable spot from a security standpoint due to its low geographic position in relation to the homes in the eastern part of Khan Younis and has suffered from terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas.
"Despite the security threats, and in light of the needs of the international community and the civilian population of the Gaza Strip, it was decided to continue the aggregates transfer operation despite the dramatic escalation of rocket fire from Gaza into Israel,” the statement added.