At about 2:30 pm, a barrage of mortar and rocket rounds was directed at the Erez Crossing. As a result of the fire, a number of Israelis who provide humanitarian assistance were injured.

 Erez Crossing closed today due to mortar fire


Copyright: Magen David Adom

(Source: Israel Ministry of Defense)

Since the start of Operation Protective Edge hundreds of civilians, injured and sick patients have been transferred through the Erez Crossing by the Crossings Point Authority (CPA) of the Ministry of Defense as part of its humanitarian assistance efforts. On Sunday, 24 August 2014, a total of 50 persons – injured civilians and their escorts seeking medical aid – were scheduled to cross into Israel today.

At about 2:30 pm, a large rocket and mortar barrage was directed at the Erez Crossing. As a result of the fire, three Israelis were wounded, two of them seriously. The victims were Israeli-Arab taxi drivers, who were were waiting in a shed at the crossing to pick up Gazan residents and transport them into Israel for medical treatment in Israeli hospitals. They had no time to flee as the shells fell one after the other.

The Director of the Crossings Point Authority of the Ministry of Defense, Kamil Abu Rokan, and the Coordinator of the Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) General Yoav Mordehai, decided to close the Erez Crossing to traffic, except for life-saving action. In fact, two Gaza women were evacuated later via the crossing for life-saving surgery in Israel. Taxi-drivers were on hand, as always, to transport emergency patients.

Crossings Point Authority of the Ministry of Defense:

Throughout the entire operation, the staff of the Crossing Points Authority has been working around the clock to provide humanitarian assistance to the residents of the Gaza Strip, in part by facilitating the crossing of hundreds of people to hospitals in Israel through the Erez Crossing, and the transfer of more than 5,000 tons of medical equipment through the Kerem Shalom Crossing. Hamas has hurt the transfer of patients from the Gaza Strip and the provision of medical aid.