The most recent ship carrying supplies to Gaza docked at the port of Ashdod on Saturday, bringing the total number of aid-carrying vessels to seven in the last week. Israel is delivering the goods aboard the ships using the same channels which 100 trucks full of aid enter Gaza daily.
Due to the fact that the thousands of tons of aid, including cement, must first be offloaded onto trucks from the boats, not all of the aid has been delivered yet. This process, which includes screening goods for weapons, takes time. The maximum capacity for a truck is roughly 25 tons, so while only 45 trucks have been prepped and loaded, it is still a great amount of aid.
Unfortunately, Hamas is currently refusing entry to trucks which are waiting at the Kerem Shalom border crossing. As Hamas has a history of hijacking aid, it is vital that Israel is assured that construction materials are going to be used for peaceful, civilian purposes. To that end, we are working with the humanitarian organizations in Gaza that can insure that all cement, construction materials, and other aid will go to humanitarian projects.
The rumors that Israel is not letting in cement are categorically false. Our goal is to make sure the aid is distributed to the people. While distribution would normally be the role of the government, the “government” of Gaza is a terrorist organization whose declared mission is the destruction of the State of Israel. While we will not let Hamas build bunkers and military sites, we will also not allow the people of Gaza to go without adequate supplies. With our partners in the international community, we will make sure that the goods are distributed to the people of Gaza.
We are working as hard as we can to offload all supplies and send them to Gaza. Please stay tuned for future updates.