The Kerem Shalom crossing has been closed since the October 7 attack by the Palestinian radical movement Hamas on southern Israel.
All aid to the Gaza Strip has therefore flowed through the Rafah crossing with Egypt since then. Until now, only 100 trucks with humanitarian aid could be delivered to the Gaza Strip through it, despite the fact that the Kerem Shalom crossing has been used for security checks of goods in recent days to speed up the process, The Times of Israel (ToI) website wrote.
Netanyahu’s office said the opening of the crossing would allow Israel to honor a commitment to allow 200 aid trucks to enter a day, which was in the hostage deal that was negotiated and implemented during a week-long truce in late November.
The announcement of the planned opening of the crossing has already been welcomed by the United States. “We welcome this significant step,” said White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. He added that he was informed about the matter before his departure from Israel.
According to Netanyahu’s office, the United States has pledged to finance the modernization of the Rafah complex as quickly as possible so that the Egyptian crossing will be improved to the extent that aid to the Gaza Strip does not have to be delivered through Israel.
The decision to open the Kerem Shalom crossing is the latest U-turn by the Netanyahu government on the delivery of humanitarian aid following the October 7 attack. Netanyahu initially pledged not to allow any aid into the Gaza Strip. Two weeks later, however, Israel began sending aid trucks into the Gaza Strip through Egypt’s Rafah crossing. But it has kept its own Kerem Shalom crossing closed on the grounds that it will not facilitate the delivery of aid to the Gaza Strip while Palestinian militants are holding hostages there.