Hamas is exploiting the compassion and generosity of the State of Israel by targeting humanitarian crossings. This is a deliberate attack against aiding the Palestinian population.
(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)
Three explosive-laden vehicles, two disguised as military jeeps and an armored vehicle, approached under heavy morning fog the Kerem Shalom central crossing for food and supplies through which approximately 200 humanitarian aid trucks enter per week. Terrorists triggered the explosives in the two jeeps, wounding thirteen IDF soldiers; one moderately-seriously, two moderately and eight lightly. Four terrorists were killed in the incident; their attempts to detonate the third vehicle were foiled. The bombing attack was combined with a barrage of 15 mortar shells fired at the area.
Later in the day, a fourth booby-trapped vehicle approached the security fence near Kibbutz Nirim. An alert IDF force detonated the vehicle before it could attack the community or cause damage to the fence.
The terrorists planned to execute a wider attack, possibly kidnapping IDF soldiers. This is the fifth attack in ten days upon a central life-line crossing such as Kerem Shalom and Nahal Oz fuel terminal.
GOC Southern Command, Major General Yoav Galant, commenting on the event, stated that "We haven’t seen such attacks since the Disengagement, synchronized across the Gaza Strip, aimed at mass killing and the kidnapping of soldiers into Gaza by armored vehicles, ruining the Passover holiday and casting a grave shadow on celebrations of Israel’s 60th anniversary."
On Thursday, April 17, 2008, Palestinian terrorists’ attempt to infiltrate Kerem Shalom was thwarted by IDF soldiers. Despite the incident 48 humanitarian trucks of medical equipment and food products were transferred into Gaza through Kerem Shalom the next day.
"Hamas is exploiting the compassion and generosity of the State of Israel by targeting humanitarian crossings. This is a deliberate attack against aiding the Palestinian population," Maj. Gen. Galant added.