After facing mounting pressures from the United States of America, the nation of Israel is set to start sending more aid to Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing in order to relieve the humanitarian crisis that civilians in Gaza are facing.
In a live report from Israel, Tel Aviv, ARISE NEWS special correspondent, Karl Bostic, also revealed that Israel inspects every truck that brings aid into Gaza to make sure that they do not contain items that can be used by Hamas members in the ongoing war.
Bostic, while talking about the relationship between Israel and the US, said, “We’re getting lots of messages from the US because don’t forget, it’s Israel’s most important partner militarily, economically, and also diplomatically. Only yesterday, the US’ president Biden had a phone call with Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, as many reports are saying it was perhaps his 16th phone conversation since the war began. We’ve also seen some comments from the Deputy National Security Adviser from the White House about the war itself. What Biden is basically telling Netanyahu is that more needs to be done to get aid into Gaza to relieve the humanitarian crisis growing into a catastrophe which it is right now.”
He then spoke on Israel’s agreement to begin to send more aid through the Kerem Shalom crossing, saying that before the war began, the crossing, which is larger than the Rafah crossing, was used for commercial purposes. Bostic said, “When you talk about aid going into Gaza, it’s not so straightforward. Israel insists on inspecting every truck that goes into Gaza. What they want to guard against is any item or commodity that could be diverted by Hamas for its war purposes. So, for example, they want to look out for things like fertiliser- fertiliser can be used to make bombs. They want to look out for things like concrete, concrete could be used to build or repair tunnels that they use in Gaza, or even salt itself, salt could be even used to make low grade ammunition.
“But with the Kerem Shalom crossing, you increase the capacity to screen for this, as in comparison, right now, only about 70, 75 trucks are going into Gaza from Rafah, 75 trucks a day. That’s down from 200 during the humanitarian pause. And before the war, it was more than 500. So, you have increased capacity there (Kerem Shalom crossing), so that’s one of the concessions that Israel is now making after pressure from the US.”
Referring to the statement of the Deputy National Security Adviser which said that although the US has a lot of influence over what Israel does, the US cannot control Israel, Bostic said, “The reason why he said that is at the end of the day, the US cannot impose a hard deadline on when Israel should stop its military operations.”
Expanding on Israel’s reason for continuing the war, he said, “Israel is saying that it’s not about just killing the leadership, it’s also making sure that this threat does not exist again, the threat that we now see on a daily basis with rockets still being fired into Southern Israel, they want to end that threat.”
Concerning the probability of more hostages being released, Bostic said, “It’s now being admitted publicly by the US that the likelihood of any hostages being released at the end of this year- which is only weeks away from now- as a primary goal, that has probably gone away.”
Giving reasons for this, he said that there are communication disruptions in Gaza, so it was not easy to reach the heads of Hamas to negotiate terms of release. Also, he said that Hamas had claimed that they are unsure of where all the hostages are, as they could be held by different factions of the group.