May 8, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israel Reopens Kerem Shalom Gaza Crossing

May 8, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israel Reopens Kerem Shalom Gaza Crossing

Latest Developments

Israel reopened the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and Gaza three days after closing it due to a Hamas attack, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on May 8. The reopening came one day after the IDF took control of the Gazan side of the nearby Rafah crossing, which links Gaza with Egypt. Kerem Shalom has been the key conduit for humanitarian aid during the war in Gaza that began with the Hamas assault on Israel on October 7.

Hamas continued to target Israel with rocket fire on May 7, firing several barrages. The IDF said on May 8 that “trucks from Egypt carrying humanitarian aid, including food, water, shelter equipment, medicine, and medical equipment donated by the international community are already arriving at the [Kerem Shalom] crossing.” In addition, the Erez crossing in northern Gaza continues to be open to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Expert Analysis

“The reopening of the Kerem Shalom crossing is an important development amid the IDF’s operations in eastern Rafah against Hamas terrorists. The reopening will enable aid to continue to flow into Gaza so that civilians can receive vital humanitarian aid while preventing Hamas from hijacking the aid as it has done in the past. Securing aid routes into Gaza free from Hamas control is key to defeating the terrorist group.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

“Despite Israel reopening the crossing, Hamas continues to claim it is carrying out attacks in the area. This strategy shows that Hamas is willing to put aid to Palestinians at risk by potentially causing another closure of the crossing. Regrettably, Hamas likely believes it can continue attacking the area of the crossing because any potential closures of Kerem Shalom will only be short-lived due to U.S. pressure on Israel to ensure a steady flow of aid to the Gaza Strip.” Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal 

IDF Conducts Precision Strikes on Hamas Terrorists in Eastern Rafah

The IDF carried out counter-terrorism operations against Hamas in eastern Rafah on May 8, the second day of its offensive in the area. “Terrorists were eliminated and underground shafts and infrastructure were located in different areas,” the IDF said on May 8. In addition, Israeli troops spotted and eliminated a terrorist with an RPG. The Israeli Air Force struck 100 targets in Gaza on May 8, including observation posts and launch posts used by terrorists.

On May 7, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told IDF troops near the border that if Hamas rebuffed Israeli willingness to make compromises to secure the release of hostages, “this operation will continue until we eliminate Hamas in the Rafah area and the entire Gaza Strip, or until the first hostage returns.” He emphasized that “Hamas only responds to force, so we will intensify our actions, and the military pressure will result in us crushing the Hamas [terrorist] organization.”

IDF Takes Control of Gaza Side of Rafah Crossing,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel Calls on Civilians to Evacuate Rafah,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel Strikes Hamas Command Center Under UNRWA Complex,” FDD Flash Brief


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