• Wed. May 29th, 2024

Hamas Resumes Attack on Kerem Shalom Crossing

As the Israel-Hamas war enters day 215, Hamas terrorists have launched a second attack on the Kerem Shalom humanitarian aid crossing today. This assault comes hours after the Israeli government announced the reopening of the border for aid convoys.

The initial closure followed an attack by a Palestinian armed group on an Israeli military base near the crossing, claiming the lives of three soldiers on May 5. The Israeli military promptly shut down the Kerem Shalom crossing in response to the incident, citing security concerns.

Hamas’s armed wing, the Qassam Brigades, claimed responsibility for the recent attack, stating it was aimed at Israeli forces near the crossing and its vicinity. Reacting to the latest attack, the Israeli president said that Hamas targeted humanitarian assistance because they have no regard for human welfare.

President Isaac Herzog emphasized the urgency of freeing hostages and liberating the people of Gaza from Hamas’s oppressive governance. This crossing is a crucial point for aid entering Gaza, and its reopening in December was prompted by growing pressure from the United States amid Gaza’s severe humanitarian crisis.

This attack comes at the back of an ongoing truce negotiation. Negotiators from Egypt and Qatar convened in Egypt to renew efforts for an agreement to end the conflict and secure the release of over 100 captives held by Palestinian factions in Gaza since October.

However, unresolved issues persist. Hamas seeks a permanent ceasefire and assurances against an Israeli ground invasion in Rafah. Israel maintains its stance that an attack is inevitable regardless of a ceasefire agreement.

Israel Responds to Hezbollah Attacks with Strikes in Southern Lebanon

In response to recent Hezbollah attacks targeting Israeli military positions along the northern border, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has launched a series of airstrikes targeting Hezbollah sites in southern Lebanon.

The Hezbollah terror group claimed responsibility for launching anti-tank guided missiles and mortars from Lebanon toward the northern border community of Malkia. The IDF confirmed the launch of at least two projectiles but did not immediately release information on possible casualties.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant addressed troops in northern Israel, reiterating the IDF’s commitment to returning the tens of thousands of Israelis displaced by Hezbollah’s attacks back to their homes. Gallant emphasized the need for an agreement or operational process to ensure the safe return of residents and the rebuilding of destroyed infrastructure.

Rising Tensions Escalate Conflict Along Northern Border

Since October 8, Hezbollah-led forces have launched near-daily attacks on Israeli communities and military posts along the border, citing support for Gaza. The recent escalation in tensions has resulted in civilian casualties on the Israeli side, with nine deaths reported, along with the deaths of 13 IDF soldiers and reservists. 

Israel has issued warnings of potential war if Hezbollah continues to threaten its northern communities and does not retreat from the border. Approximately 70,000 people have been evacuated from the area to avoid being casualties of the war.

In a separate incident, the Israeli Defense Forces intercepted a potentially drone-like “suspicious aerial target” approaching Israel from the east, close to the southern city of Eilat. It is the third consecutive night of drone interceptions, with the Iran-backed Islamic Resistance in Iraq claiming responsibility for launching a drone toward Eilat.

Amid the ongoing conflict, Iran-backed groups in Iraq and Syria have launched several drones at Israel, with Iran itself launching an attack last month using hundreds of drones and missiles.