More than 70 flatbed trucks of foodstuffs and other goods are sitting at the Kerem Shalom border crossing with Gaza, locked out by Hamas.
The crossing was closed last week following a rocket attack aimed at the southern coastal city of Ashkelon by terrorists in the Hamas-ruled area, but was to re-open Monday.
However, the terrorist government has attempted to replace the current crossing operator – hired by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority government -- with a contractor of its own.
This has prompted the current contractor to close down the crossing altogether and simply go home.
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (CoGAT), Maj.-Gen. Eitan Dangot, spoke this morning with senior PA officials in Ramallah regarding the unfolding events, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Dangot emphasized that “Israel cannot allow the operation of the crossing under such circumstances given the security risks,” according to the Foreign Ministry.
Hamas has been actively trying to push the Ramallah government out and take charge of the management of the Kerem Shalom crossing so the terror organization may collect revenue from goods that enter Gaza, ministry officials explained.
Kerem Shalom Crossing is the primary commercial goods crossing into Gaza and as such, serves a vital function for the region’s civilian population.
Located on the southern border between Israel and Gaza, Kerem Shalom sees an average of 300 trucks transporting food and other essentials into the region every day.
The crossing has been the site of numerous terror attacks in the past, each of which has forced it to close temporarily.
“Today’s events, however, are the first time that Hamas has closed Kerem Shalom in this manner,” the ministry said in its statement.