Activists from the Zionist organization Im Tirtzu and residents of the south blocked the Kerem Shalom crossing into the Gaza Strip on Wednesday morning, calling on the government to enact harsher measures to combat terrorism stemming from the Hamas-ruled Strip.
The activists blocked dozens of trucks bringing supplies to Gaza and chanted slogans including “If there’s terrorism, there are no supplies,” “The blood of our soldiers isn’t cheap,” and “Justice for Barel.”
Special Forces St.-Sgt. Bar-el Shmueli was critically injured on Saturday on the border with Gaza after a terrorist shot him as hundreds of Gazans rioted. On Monday and Tuesday, terrorists launched incendiary balloons into Israel, sparking more than 10 fires in Israel.
Despite the escalation in violence, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s government has kept the Kerem Shalom crossing open and is permitting the transfer of supplies to Gaza, some of which has not entered the Strip in months.
On Monday, Egypt announced that it was closing the Rafah crossing into Gaza until further notice. According to Egyptian security officials, the closure is due to security concerns following the Hamas-led violence in Gaza.
The activists blocking the roads also criticized the entry of supplies into Gaza as Hamas continues to hold captive two Israeli civilians, Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, as well as the bodies of two IDF soldiers, Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul.
Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg called on the government to halt the transfer of supplies to Gaza.
“We are witness to a dangerous neglect of Israel’s security in which terrorists are storming the border, soldiers are ordered not to shoot, and terrorists are launching incendiary balloons with impunity,” said Peleg.
“The Prime Minister and Defense Minister should immediately halt the transfer of supplies, or we will soon see a dangerous security deterioration and additional attempts to harm the residents of the south and our soldiers.”
Naif Rahal, head of the Bedouin Forum for the Security of Israel, also joined the protest and said that “there are many Bedouin soldiers who are involved in the fighting around the Gaza Strip. It is important for us to express our loyalty and support in combatting terrorism in Gaza.”