JERUSALEM (JTA) — Palestinian rioters vandalized the border crossing which brings most of the humanitarian aid from Israel and the international community to the Palestinian people living in Gaza, including setting fire to the pipes that carry gas and oil from Israel to Gaza.
The Palestinians also set fire to offices and buildings at the Kerem Shalom border crossing, and damaged the gates during the riots that took place as part of the Friday March of Return protests, according to the Israel Defense Forces.
Hundreds of trucks carrying merchandise, food and equipment have entered the Gaza Strip every week for years, as well as tons of fuel that has been transferred to the Gaza Strip for its residents’ use, according to the IDF.
“Hamas thereby acts against the interests of Gaza residents and worsens their situation for its own purposes,” the IDF said in a statement.
The IDF added that during the protests, which began on March 30, “rioters can be seen faking injuries and the exploitation of women and children is rampant. This is intended to disguise Hamas’s terror activities, including the hurling of explosive devices, grenades, attempted infiltrations into Israeli territory, and the burning of Israeli land.”
The weekly protests called the March of Return, are scheduled to end on May 14, the 70th anniversary, according to the Gregorian calendar, of the birth of the modern State of Israel, though Hamas has called for them to continue beyond mid-May.
According to the IDF Spokesman, humanitarian aid delivered to Gaza from Israel last week through the Kerem Shalom crossing included 72,345 tons of cargo; 2,230 trucks carrying supplies; 50,800 ton of building material, 8,020 tons of food, 1,597 fuel tanks and 1,486 tons of gas.