Hamas is attempting to take over the Kerem Shalom border crossing to the south of the Gaza Strip. The Fatah-associated Palestinian contractor in charge of the operation of the Kerem Shalom crossing on its Palestinian side, has refused to report for work and aid in the transfer of commodities from the Israeli side to the Gaza Strip.
According to assessments, the contractor’s actions are due to attempts by Hamas to replace the contractor selected by the Palestinian Authority with one on its behalf, thus taking over the operation of the crossing and increasing its profits over the PA's profits.
This decision by Hamas violates the defensive status-quo and threatens the continued proper operation of the crossing and the defensive arrangements. Maj. Gen. Eitan Dangot, Israel's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, spoke with senior PA officials, updated them regarding the decision of the Palestinian contractor and stated that 65 trucks have been received at the Israeli side. Dangot emphasized that Israel is willing to transfer the commodities to Gaza should the Palestinian contractor decide to return to his work.
This morning, Israel attempted to open the Kerem Shalom crossing after it was closed in response to the fire of rockets towards Ashkelon last week, for the first time since Operation Pillar of Defense.