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Ship arriving at Ashdod
Photo: Avi Rokach
Kerem Shalom crossing (Archives)
Photo: IDF's Spokesperson Unit
'Hamas blocking delivery of aid'
Security forces say working to transfer humanitarian equipment from Gaza flotilla into Strip, but difficulties, obstacles placed by Hamas has so far prevented goods' delivery

Hamas is blocking the delivery of the humanitarian aid that arrived on the Gaza flotilla, defense establishment sources said on Wednesday. Hamas has yet to respond to the claims.

 

Security sources told Ynet that elements from the Defense Ministry's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories unit (COGAT) have been in contact with bodies from the international community and the Palestinian Authority, in order to ensure that the humanitarian equipment enters the Strip.

 

However, the sources said, they have been unsuccessful, due to difficulties and obstacles placed by Hamas.

 

According to the security sources, despite Hamas' objection, the unloading of the goods at Ashdod Port continues. Port workers and Defense Ministry elements have been working to unload the cargo since the ships docked on Monday, and Tuesday night, eight trucks containing medical equipment, toys, clothing and medicine arrived at the Kerem Shalom crossing.

 

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The cargo was unloaded at the crossing, but has yet to be transferred to the Palestinian side. The Israel Defense Forces, the Defense Ministry, and government sources will continue with their attempts to coordinate the transfer of the goods into Gaza.


Unloading cargo at Ashdod Port (Photo: Avi Rokach)

  

A COGAT statement said, "We will continue to work to coordinate the transfer of the humanitarian goods into the Gaza Strip, in coordination with the international community and the Palestinian Authority, as was declared before the flotilla arrived."

 

On Tuesday, the Ashdod Port CEO Shuki Sagis said most of the equipment was scattered in the ships' storerooms, "and was not packed in an organized manner."

 

"We began unloading in the night," Sagis explained. "We see cargo which was arranged and repacked in order to be led to Gaza, mostly humanitarian cargo, food and toys."

 

He added that some unusual items were also found, but refused to elaborate.

 

Colonel Moshe Levy, head of the Gaza Coordination and Liaison Office, said that "there was no need for this cargo. The same goods have been sent into Gaza over the past year on a regular basis. There were more than 100 electric scooters, and tons of medical equipment. This proves that the entire sail was propagandist and provocative and had nothing to do with aid."

 

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