Police stop protestors from blocking aid through Kerem Shalom crossing

Security forces take first measures against demonstrators after days of protests calling for halt to humanitarian aid while hostages still held; after trucks prevented from entering, Israel comes under fire
Elisha Ben Kimon, Moran Azulay, Matan Tzuri|
Israel Police and IDF forces attempted to prevent protestors from blocking the Kerem Shalom crossing to aid trucks heading to Gaza on Sunday, unlike during previous demonstrations which security forces allowed.
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According to the organizers, protestors encountered roadblocks and security forces operating to prevent them from reaching the area, and in footage from the scene, they were seen being restrained by police.
3 View gallery
תיעוד: בדרך למעבר כרם שלום - אנשי צו 9 נעצרים על ידי כוחות הביטחון
תיעוד: בדרך למעבר כרם שלום - אנשי צו 9 נעצרים על ידי כוחות הביטחון
Protestors blocked by security forces near the Kerem Shalom Crossing
However, some of the demonstrators proceeded on foot and managed to reach the crossing. Before the arrival of the protestors, a small number of aid trucks crossed into Gaza for the first time in four days during which demonstrations continued.
"We welcome the decision to block the crossing," the activists said, "but instead of implementing it against the families of the hostages and soldiers, it should be implemented against the murderous Hamas terrorist organization that receives fuel while fighting against us. Our struggle will continue, without any use of violence. No aid will pass until all hostages return."
Last week, protesters - including families of hostages - arrived at the Kerem Shalom crossing, through which aid trucks enter Gaza, and began blocking their passage. This came after U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told Defense Minister Yoav Gallant it was important for aid to flow into Gaza unimpeded. The protesters blocked the crossing for hours without police intervention, attributed at least in part, to National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Givr who has vocally objected to aid being provided to Gaza.
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מפגינים חוסמים את מעבר כרם שלום
מפגינים חוסמים את מעבר כרם שלום
Protestors blocking the Kerem Shalom Crossing last week
(Photo: Efrat Avrahami)
The decision by the police to allow the blocking of aid trucks is a political decision by Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir intended to impact the War Cabinet's decisions," an official said. "The Americans see it as something that requires an immediate solution." According to the official, most of the protesters at Kerem Shalom were not related the hostages, and their arrival stems from a political agenda.
Likud members along with Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli, called on the government to halt the transfer of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. In a letter sent to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, they wrote that the aid distributed in the Strip by UNRWA, operating on behalf of Hamas, strengthens the grip the terror group holds over Gaza.
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 דן אילוז, משה סעדה, בועז ביסמוט, עמיחי שיקלי
 דן אילוז, משה סעדה, בועז ביסמוט, עמיחי שיקלי
Amichai Chikli, Boaz Bismuth, Moshe Saada, Dan Illouz
(Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch, Arik Sultan, Moshe Mizrachi)
According to their claim, Israel aims to dismantle Hamas's rule in Gaza, and so must "ensure that it not only dismantles Hamas's military control in the Strip but also its ability to act in the region politically."
They proposed that aid would be provided via international bodies trusted by Israel or on its behalf in areas under Israeli control in the Strip.
"We can’t allow Hamas to recover in places already under Israeli control, Likud lawmaker Dan Iluz said. "The situation in the Strip today is one where whoever controls the aid is the one who controls Gaza. Accordingly, it’s unacceptable for organizations or individuals associated with Hamas to control the distribution of aid in the region.”
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