Israel Reopens a Gaza Crossing That Is an Important Aid Route

Israel reopened the Kerem Shalom crossing into the Gaza Strip, the Israeli agency overseeing aid deliveries in the territory said Wednesday, reinstating one of two critical entry points for humanitarian aid that it had closed.

The Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and Gaza had been closed since a Hamas rocket attack from Gaza on Sunday killed four Israeli soldiers in the area. On Tuesday, the Israeli military mounted an incursion that closed the Rafah crossing on Gaza’s border with Egypt.

Since the start of the war, most of the aid for Gaza has moved through the Rafah crossing. International aid agencies and officials had said that Israel’s closure of the two crossings could make the already dire humanitarian crisis worse.

On Wednesday, trucks of aid were arriving at the Kerem Shalom crossing and would go into Gaza after inspection, the Israeli agency, COGAT, said.

When both crossings were closed, it was not clear how much aid was getting into Gaza through other avenues. COGAT said on Tuesday that 60 trucks had passed through the Erez crossing into northern Gaza, which Israel reopened under pressure from the Biden administration after an Israeli airstrike killed seven aid workers.

In a call with President Biden on Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel agreed to ensure that the crossing would reopen, according to a White House summary of the call.

Israel opened the crossing at Kerem Shalom in December after pressure from the United States to speed up the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza. However, Israeli protesters have regularly gathered at the crossing, trying to block aid convoys from entering the enclave in the hopes of raising the pressure on Hamas to release the hostages.

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