March 4, 2024

Brighton Journal

Complete News World

Kerem Shalom Crossing: Israeli demonstrators stop aid trucks for Gaza

Kerem Shalom Crossing: Israeli demonstrators stop aid trucks for Gaza

Comment on the photo,

Hostage families and their supporters walk toward the Israeli-Egyptian border in Kerem Shalom on Thursday.

Hundreds of Israeli demonstrators prevented some humanitarian aid trucks from entering the Gaza Strip for the third day.

The demonstrators, including families of hostages still held in Gaza, waved Israeli flags at a major crossing and chanted against “aiding the enemy.”

The demonstrators say they are not demanding any aid for Gaza until all hostages are released.

This comes despite the United States' demand to allow aid to enter Gaza “without interruption.”

For the third day in a row, demonstrators descended on the Kerem Shalom border crossing between Israel and Gaza to try to prevent humanitarian aid from entering the Strip.

A line of trucks carrying aid supplies, some flying the Egyptian flag, remained parked for hours at the crossing as demonstrators urged the government to halt aid supplies until the remaining prisoners held by Hamas were released.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that on Wednesday – the first day of the protests – only nine trucks were able to cross the Kerem Shalom crossing, while 114 trucks were diverted to the Rafah crossing in Egypt.

The United Nations said that only 153 trucks entered Gaza on Wednesday, a much smaller number than had been able to enter in recent weeks.

The Israeli government is facing increasing international pressure to allow more humanitarian aid into Gaza, in addition to intense internal pressure to secure the release of the hostages.

Protesters say they consider delivering aid to Gaza while their loved ones are still being held by Hamas to be a “moral failure.”

They say they fear the aid will end up in the hands of the group.

Israeli media reported that although some of the protesters are related to the hostages, others are the parents of IDF soldiers currently deployed in Gaza, with another group representing right-wing activists promoting the return of Jewish settlements to Gaza.

The demonstration took place amid unconfirmed reports that Israeli and American officials will hold “crucial” talks regarding the hostages with Qatari and Egyptian mediators in Europe in the coming days.

Reports indicate that CIA Director William Burns and Mossad Chief David Barnea will meet with the Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani to discuss the release of more than 100 Israelis. Hostages and stopping the fighting in Gaza.

The White House described the talks as “sober” and “serious” efforts involving players who were key to reaching a previous agreement in November.

But Hamas still insists on a complete ceasefire and the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.

A senior Palestinian official told the BBC that the mediators proposed releasing the Israeli hostages in stages in exchange for a renewable ceasefire, the release of Palestinian prisoners and increased aid.

Meanwhile, intense fighting continued in Gaza. Israeli military officials say that warplanes carried out dozens of raids on several Hamas targets around Khan Yunis during the night.

The Hamas-run Health Ministry says Israeli attacks in the past 24 hours have killed 183 people and injured nearly 400 others.

Israel launched its military campaign with the declared aim of destroying Hamas after its militants killed 1,300 people – most of them civilians – and took about 250 others hostage, in an unprecedented attack on communities in southern Israel on October 7 last year.

Since then, health officials say more than 26,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza.

See also  COP27: Summit approves climate fund 'for loss and damage' in historic deal