May 6, 2024 | Flash Brief

Four IDF Soldiers Killed as Hamas Rockets Strike Humanitarian Aid Crossing

May 6, 2024 | Flash Brief

Four IDF Soldiers Killed as Hamas Rockets Strike Humanitarian Aid Crossing

Latest Developments

Hamas fired 10 rockets on May 5 from Rafah toward Kerem Shalom, a key Israeli logistical hub for Gaza aid deliveries, killing four Israeli soldiers and wounding at least 10 people. The soldiers were guarding military equipment ahead of Israel’s planned offensive against Hamas terrorists in Rafah. In response, Israel carried out airstrikes in Rafah, striking the launch site used by Hamas.

Hamas’s attack forced Israel to close the Kerem Shalom crossing, among the largest inspection and processing sites for aid transiting to Gaza. The Israeli foreign ministry commented on X that “Israel remains committed to providing life-saving aid while Hamas remains committed to destroying lives.”

Expert Analysis

“While Israel waits for a response from Hamas on the most comprehensive ceasefire deal to date, Hamas responded by attacking the Kerem Shalom humanitarian crossing. The rockets came from Rafah, Hamas’s last bastion in Gaza, where over one million civilians are sheltering. By attacking the crossing from a densely populated civilian area, Hamas once again demonstrated its utter disregard for the safety and welfare of Gazans and its lack of seriousness regarding the hostage negotiations.” — Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network

“Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups have been targeting IDF staging areas inside the Gaza Strip and in Israeli territory near the border for months. It is likely that Hamas used drones or ground spotters to identify Kerem Shalom as an IDF assembly point and carried out a coordinated attack using rockets and mortars.” Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Hamas Shuts Down Key Gaza Aid Hub

Israel opened the Kerem Shalom crossing in December 2023 to provide security screenings for the increasing volume of humanitarian aid heading to Gaza. Aid shipments arriving from Egypt pass through either the Nitzana or Kerem Shalom Israeli checkpoints as they enter the Gaza Strip. As of late April, most humanitarian aid trucks were entering Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing. Israel is able to inspect about 55 aid trucks at the crossing every hour, according to Israeli officials.

On May 1, Secretary of State Antony Blinken toured the Kerem Shalom crossing and “voiced his appreciation for Israel’s humanitarian efforts and noted the meaningful progress in recent weeks,” according to Israel’s Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories.

October 7-Linked Palestinian Islamic Jihad Commander Killed in Rafah,” FDD Flash Brief

Hamas Must Strike Deal Within Week or Rafah Ground Offensive Will Begin, Israel Signals,” FDD Flash Brief

IDF Focuses on Humanitarian Aid in Gaza,” by Seth J. Frantzman


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