Gunfire reported at Gaza’s Kerem Shalom Crossing, IDF says

The reports of violence came as Israel reopened the Kerem Shalom Crossing on Thursday morning to allow aid trucks to enter Gaza after several days of it being closed.

The Israeli military said on Thursday it received reports of gunfire directed at a vehicle carrying Palestinian workers near the Kerem Shalom Crossing into the Gaza Strip and treated several wounded Palestinians in the area.

“The circumstances of the shooting are being investigated,” the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement, without providing further details on the incident.

The reports of violence came as Israel reopened the Kerem Shalom Crossing on Thursday morning to allow aid trucks to enter Gaza after several days of it being closed. The crossing had been shuttered in the aftermath of a deadly rocket attack by Hamas militants that killed an Israeli civilian doing maintenance work nearby.

The crossing is one of the few gateways for goods and supplies to move into and out of the impoverished Gaza Strip, which has been under an Israeli-Egyptian blockade since the Islamic militant group Hamas seized power in 2007. Israel says the blockade is necessary to prevent weapons from entering the territory.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the reported shooting incident near Kerem Shalom, which is located on the Palestinian side of the heavily fortified border.

Tensions have remained high along the Gaza frontier since Israel concluded an 11-day bombardment of Gaza in May following a flare-up of cross-border rocket fire from the coastal enclave. More than 250 Palestinians were killed in the Israeli airstrikes, including dozens of children.

Egypt has since led international efforts to broker a longer-term truce between Israel and Hamas that would ease restrictions on Gaza in exchange for sustained quiet from the militant group.

Violence and flare-ups have frequently occurred around Gaza’s entry crossings, where large numbers of Palestinian workers gather daily to cross into Israel for jobs. In previous incidents, Hamas has acknowledged struggling to maintain full control over splinter groups and fringe armed factions during periods of tension with Israel. Other Palestinian militant groups in Gaza have in the past challenged Hamas’ authority.