Israel to bypass Hamas and deliver aid directly to northern Gaza

Aid trucks arrive at the Gaza side of the Kerem Shalom crossing in the southern Strip, Dec. 18, 2023. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.

(JNS) — Israel will start transferring humanitarian supplies directly to the northern Gaza Strip to bypass the Hamas terrorist group, the War Cabinet decided on Feb. 24.

In the coming days, trucks carrying supplies bound for the parts of Gaza already conquered by Israeli forces will enter near the Karni crossing at the northeastern end of the Strip, which was permanently closed in 2011, with the last remaining structures of the cargo terminal demolished by the Israeli military in 2022.

On Dec. 15, Israel’s Security Cabinet approved the opening of the Kerem Shalom crossing for the transfer of aid to the Strip after intense U.S. and international pressure. All the Israeli crossings to Gaza had been shuttered after the Oct. 7 massacre, with only Egypt’s Rafah crossing from Sinai remaining open.

However, Hamas has been hijacking up to 60 percent of the aid entering the Gaza Strip.

The UN Relief and Works Agency is suspending aid deliveries to northern Gaza via Egypt’s Rafah crossing, the Guardian reported on Feb. 24.

“The desperate behavior of hungry and exhausted people is preventing the safe and regular passage of our trucks,” Tamara Alrifai, director of external relations for UNRWA, told the British newspaper.

Sporadic protests have taken place over the past two months at Kerem Shalom in an attempt to block aid trucks from resupplying Hamas while the terrorist group continues to hold Israelis hostage and fight a war against Israel.

Activists have also attempted to block the aid trucks at the smaller Nitzana crossing to Sinai and at the Ashdod port.

Clashes broke out between Israeli security personnel and protesters at the Kerem Shalom crossing to Gaza on Feb. 22, with one of the demonstrators reportedly injured by security forces.