Head of the Gaza CLA: "Every Attack on the Kerem Shalom Crossing is a Terrorist Attack Against the Residents of Gaza."

​Head of the Gaza CLA, Col. Faris Atilla, and Head of the Southern Division of the Gaza Brigade, Col. Koby Heller, gave a briefing to 45 representatives of 27 international organizations and diplomatic missions at the Kerem Shalom crossing regarding security threats facing Israel in the region. The briefing comes after 3 terrorist tunnels, which entered Israel, were uncovered and destroyed in recent months.

Yesterday, a tour was held at Kerem Shalom crossing for 45 representatives of 27 international organzations. The tour was led by the Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration, headed by Colonel Fares Atilla and the commander of the Southern Brigade, Colonel Koby Heller. The delegation included diplomats, ambassadors, military attachés and international organizations. There were representatives from groups such as the Embassy of Japan, the Embassy of Sweden, the Embassy of the Czech Republic, the Embassy of Finland. Also joining the tour was Matthias Smallah, UNRWA Director in Gaza, Ms. Monica Stein Olson, head of USAID in the region, and Mr. Dave Kardan, Head of OCHA in the region.

 

In addition, to discussing the security threats faced by Israel, the tour presented the measures Israel takes aiding the residents of Gaza, including the opening of the Kerem Shalom crossing. The crossings is open throughout the year and serves as the only crossing for the transfer of goods and equipment from Israel to Gaza and from Gaza abroad.

The Head of the Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration, Col. Fares Attila said that "Today the representatives of the international organizations saw for themselves that the terrorist organization Hamas does no reach its objective of harming the State of Israel and its citizens. The Kerem Shalom crossing, constitutes a major lifeline to the Gaza Strip, and any attack on it is a terror attack against the residents of the Gaza Strip.” Colonel Attila added “In 2017 alone, more than 147,286 truckloads carrying medical equipment, food and agricultural produce were coordinated. The uncovering of this terror tunnel is proof that the residents of the Gaza Strip are hostages of the terrorist organization Hamas and are not included in Hamas' considerations, and even tramples the residents with their own hands.” The Head of the Gaza CLA finished by saying “As long as Hamas and the Palestinian Authority continue not including the best interests for the residents of the Gaza Strip as their first priority, the economic crisis will worsen and deteriorate. Israel will continue to take steps primarily to protect the State of Israel and its citizens."

 

The commander of the southern brigade, Col. Kobi Heller said "The closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing is a step we did not want to take, but Hamas left us no choice but they hold the authority and carry the responsibility for what happens in the Gaza Strip.” Colonel Heller added that this terror tunnel “Is an invasion of Israel’s sovereignty and is damaging for residents of the Gaza Strip.” The Commander of the Southern Brigade added that “The digging of terror tunnels under the sole goods crossing is an example of Hamas' interest in terror and not in rebuilding the Gaza Strip.” Colonel Heller summarized saying  “The desire is to maintain an open passage and regular passage of goods for the benefit of the residents of the Gaza Strip, while at the same time continuing to act to put an end to the threat of terrorist tunnels.”