The IDF unit overseeing the transport of humanitarian aid into Gaza says it is working to increase the number of trucks that pass through the Kerem Shalom border crossing, which reopened last month.
“The trucks that go through security checks here are unloaded on the Gazan side of the crossing. The aid is then met by international organizations and delivered to the people of Gaza,” says Col. Moshe Tetro, head of COGAT’s Coordination and Liaison Administration to Gaza at an on-site press briefing. “Before the war there was an average of 70 trucks carrying food entering Gaza every day. The average last week was 110 trucks.”
Contrary to UN reports that detail widespread starvation in the Strip, Tetro maintains that “there is no food shortage in Gaza.”
“In terms of food, the reserves in Gaza are sufficient for the near term,” he said. “However, if there are any organizations that would like to bring more food, we are happy to facilitate it — to the south and to the north.”
Tetro denies any bottlenecks on the Israeli end preventing aid from reaching the enclave, asserting “the problem lies with the international organizations processing and receiving the aid.”
Before Kerem Shalom’s reopening, trucks carrying humanitarian aid were inspected by Israeli authorities at the Nitzana Crossing between Israel and Egypt. Under US pressure to lessen delays in the entry of food, water, and medical supplies, the security cabinet approved the opening of Kerem Shalom in mid-December, first just for checking of aid and later also for its entry into Gaza.