Israeli authorities have taken the unprecedented step of suspending all commercial goods exports from the Gaza Strip due to the discovery of explosives at the Kerem Shalom crossing.
This action follows allegations of an attempt to smuggle explosives concealed within a clothing delivery, as reported by the Israeli army and defense ministry.
According to the official statement released by the Israeli military, several kilograms of high-quality explosives were detected within the cargo of three trucks passing through the Kerem Shalom crossing.
As a result of this alarming discovery, Israel has initiated a temporary halt on all “commercial deliveries from Gaza to Israel” to facilitate necessary security adjustments at the crossing.
The statement further specifies that deliveries will resume based on ongoing security assessments. Palestinian border officials have been informed by Israeli authorities that the crossing will remain closed “until further notice.”
The Kerem Shalom crossing holds significant importance as the sole point of export for goods from Gaza. This region has been grappling with a harsh Israeli blockade since 2007 when Hamas took control. This blockade has had a profound and detrimental impact on the local economy, with a substantial portion of the population in Gaza relying on foreign aid for sustenance.
This development occurs against a backdrop of escalating tensions in the occupied West Bank and a surge in violence. Tragically, the year has witnessed the loss of at least 225 Palestinian lives, along with 32 Israelis, a Ukrainian, and an Italian, underscoring the gravity of the situation in the region.