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At least 10 Israelis wounded, 4 killed in rocket, mortar barrage toward Kerem Shalom Crossing

Main site for humanitarian aid crossing closes temporarily due to attacks

A Palestinian truck carrying goods seen after passing into Rafah, Gaza, through the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and the southern Gaza Strip on December 5, 2013. Israel allowed to pump limited quantities of petrol and diesel and cooking gas through the Kerem Shalom commercial crossing into Gaza. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash90

At least 10 Israelis were injured on Sunday afternoon from rocket and mortar fire originating in Rafah and directed toward the southern Gaza Envelope.

Air raid sirens were sounded in the area of the Kerem Shalom border crossing on Sunday afternoon. The IDF said approximately 10 projectile launches were identified crossing from the area adjacent to the Rafah crossing toward the area of Kerem Shalom. 

A statement issued by the Eshkol Regional Council noted “a barrage of rockets to the Kerem Shalom area."

"Several rockets exploded in an open area near a military installation, and there were casualties at the scene. The victims are not residents of the council, and we pray for their safety,” the statement read.

The barrage, which included 10 rockets and several mortar shells, was launched as Israel awaited an official response from the Hamas terrorist organization regarding the hostage negotiation proposal. 

A military helicopter lands in southern Israel after a Hamas rocket attack in the Kerem Shalom area, May 5, 2024. (Photo: Magen David Adom)

Just a few hours before the attacks, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant visited the Gaza Strip to observe and inspect IDF operations in the area. 

While there, Gallant held an assessment with the commander of the 99th Division, Brig.-Gen. Barak Hiram, as well as other brigade commanders, regarding operational activities expected to take place in the coming days. 

Gallant also addressed reserve fighters, telling them: “We have clear goals for this war, we are committed to the elimination of Hamas and the release of the hostages.” 

“We gave a period of time and wanted to reach a situation in which we would implement the release of the abductees as quickly as possible, with a certain delay in the operational activity, because the hostages are in a difficult situation and we need to make every effort to release them,” Gallant continued. 

The defense minister said current indications suggest that Hamas is not interested in reaching an agreement. 

“We are seeing worrying signs that Hamas in fact does not intend to go to any agreement with us, which means action in Rafah and the entire Gaza Strip in the very near future,” he told the soldiers just a couple of hours before the rocket and mortar attacks. 

In recent weeks, the IDF has deployed dozens of tanks and armored personnel carriers as part of preparations to enter Rafah on the other side of the fence.

The Kerem Shalom Crossing is temporarily closed to humanitarian aid trucks due to the mortar fire. 

The Tzav 9 movement, which opposes the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza until Israeli hostages are allowed regular visits by international aid organizations, released a statement saying, “From where Hamas fires missiles, the State of Israel is transferring aid.” 

Hamas later claimed responsibility for the attacks. 

Shortly before the attacks at Kerem Shalom, two people were injured in Hezbollah attacks in Kiryat Shmonah on Israel's northern border area.


The IDF later announced that three soldiers who were injured in the attacks died after succumbing to their wounds.

On Monday morning, the IDF announced the death of a fourth soldier who had been injured in the attacks at Kerem Shalom.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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