Israeli inspectors earlier this week uncovered several oxygen concentrators meant to aerate the tunnels operated by terror groups in Gaza, two senior Israeli officials tell The Times of Israel.
“These weren’t for use in the hospitals, but below them. That’s why they were smuggled among boxes of cookies,” one of the senior Israeli officials says, adding that the entire truck in which the oxygen concentrators were found was barred from entering Gaza.
Neither official provided a photo of the oxygen concentrators in question and they did not disclose which organization was responsible for sending the truck.
Since Egypt opened its Rafah crossing into Gaza 11 days ago, several hundred trucks filled with humanitarian aid have been able to enter Gaza following inspections by both Egyptian and Israeli authorities.
The trucks first enter Egypt where they undergo an initial round of inspections. They then are driven into Israel through the Nitzana crossing where they are inspected by Israel’s COGAT military liaison before being sent back to Egypt and driven into Gaza through the Rafah crossing, a second Israeli official tells The Times of Israel, saying the format was agreed upon after extensive talks between Israel, Egypt and the United States.
Israel has thus far rejected growing calls to allow in fuel, expressing concerns that Hamas will divert it to power its tunnels. IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi said Thursday that Israel would allow fuel to enter Gaza via the Rafah crossing should it determine that hospitals have run out of fuel.
Shortly after Halevi’s comments, the Prime Minister’s Office issued a terse statement noting only that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “has not approved the entry of fuel into Gaza.”