ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 147

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Blinken says he never intended to visit Kerem Shalom amid reports of canceled trip

Activists set up tents to block trucks carrying humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip at the Kerem Shalom border crossing between Israel and Gaza, in southern Israel, Feb. 7, 2024. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
Activists set up tents to block trucks carrying humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip at the Kerem Shalom border crossing between Israel and Gaza, in southern Israel, Feb. 7, 2024. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken canceled a planned visit to the Kerem Shalom Crossing, Hebrew daily Haaretz reports, despite Blinken telling a Channel 13 journalist during a press briefing last night, “There was no planned visit to Kerem Shalom, so there was nothing to cancel.”

According to Haaretz, the visit to the Israel-Gaza border crossing was canceled after Israel failed to ensure the US official that the entry of humanitarian aid into the war-torn Gaza Strip would not be interrupted by protests amid his visit.

For the last two weeks, the right-wing Israeli protest group Tzav 9 has held protests close to the border crossing on a near-daily basis in an attempt to prevent trucks carrying humanitarian aid into the Strip, as it believes no support should be given to Gaza while hostages remain in the enclave.

Channel 12 reports that the protesters were forcibly removed by the police this evening after preventing all aid from entering Gaza, but they have vowed to return next week.

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