An Israeli soldier was wounded Tuesday afternoon by Gaza mortar fire while transferring humanitarian aid to Gaza through the Erez land crossing in southern Israel.
The barrage of more than 50 mortar shells also killed two Thai workers and wounded 10 others, including four seriously. Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization has taken responsibility for the barrage.
The IDF soldier was wounded when one of the mortar shells hit the Erez Crossing while his unit was transferring humanitarian aid shipments to Gaza.
The 19-year-old soldier sustained shrapnel wounds to his torso. He was evacuated in a fully conscious state and in “stable” condition to Barzilai Medical Center in nearby Ashkelon, medics said.
Both the Kerem Shalom and Erez border crossings were opened temporarily at 11 am Tuesday to allow for the transfer of the aid, which included truckloads of fuel, medicine, feed for the animals and fuel tanks for Gaza.
In response to the attack, Israel closed the Kerem Shalom crossing to Gaza “until further notice,” but left Erez crossing open for “humanitarian movement.”
— Aaron Huber (@kycisrael) May 18, 2021
Kerem Shalom is the main crossing used for the transfer of goods between Israel and Gaza. The Erez crossing is used by international journalists, humanitarian aid workers, foreign NGO employees and medical personnel to move in and out of Gaza.
Gaza could have had so much more – construction, facilities, infrastructure, education, economy and welfare – But Hamas prefers to use all the money and means for terror. pic.twitter.com/ClaqWbDEP0
— COGAT (@cogatonline) May 17, 2021
IDF Continues Campaign Against Gaza Terror
According to IDF Spokesperson Brig.Gen. Hidai Zilberman, the IDF carried out air strikes overnight Monday into Tuesday against Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization and its ally, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group.
Israeli combat pilots had eliminated 10 to 12 multi-barrel rocket launchers by Tuesday morning. Six were loaded up and ready to launch at central Israel. Air strikes also targeted the “D” phase of the underground “Metro” tunnel network built by Hamas. Zilberman said 65 targets were hit by 60 pilots firing 110 munitions. Some 10 to 15 kilometers (six to nine miles) of the terror tunnel network was destroyed.
At least 65 rocket launchers in Gaza have been destroyed in the past three days, the IDF said, adding that each can fire four to nine rockets within just seconds. Between 125 and 130 Hamas terrorists and 30 operatives from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group have been killed by the IDF since the start of Operation Guardian of the Walls.