Israel will open the Keren Shalom crossing in southern Israel from Tuesday for security checks on aid shipments to the Gaza Strip, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement late on Monday.
By now, all trucks carrying humanitarian aid must be inspected at Israel’s Nitzana crossing before entering Gaza, causing delays in the entry of water, food, medical supplies and shelter equipment into the besieged Palestinian enclave.
The Nitzana crossing is more than 40 km away from the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza, the only point of aid entry into Gaza.
The opening of Keren Shalom, closer to Rafah, would improve the volume of security screening of aid and “double the amount of humanitarian aid entering Gaza,” according to the statement.
No supplies will be delivered to Gaza directly from Israel, the IDF added.
After security inspection at the two crossings, aid trucks will be forwarded to international organizations in Gaza via the Rafah crossing between the enclave and Egypt.
Before the opening of Keren Shalom, Israel allowed the entry of up to 250 aid trucks into Gaza every day, Elad Goren, head of the IDF’s Civil Department of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, told reporters on Thursday.