By Ze’ev Ben-Yechiel
Tazpit News Agency
While Hamas intensifies its latest wave of rocket fire, Israel continues its humanitarian commitment to Gaza, agreeing to Turkish requests to transfer another group of Gazans wounded in recent fighting.
The level of daily rocket fire has swelled in recent days to levels unseen since Israel’s August 3 ground pullout, with a record 168 rockets launched on Wednesday. Thursday morning a mortar struck an Israeli children’s home in the Eshkol region near Gaza, seriously wounding a passerby. The 33-year-old sustained shrapnel injuries when he pushed a female caretaker out of harm’s way, which medics believe saved her life.
Rocket attacks continued throughout the morning on Gaza-adjacent communities. Around 11:00 am, Hamas expanded the range of the morning’s rocket fire beyond the Gaza-adjacent communities, with landings in open areas reported near Be’er Sheva.
Meanwhile, despite Hamas’s two-day-long violation of a ceasefire consisting of some 200 rockets aimed at Israeli civilians, Israel continues to extend humanitarian aid to Gazans.
Israel’s COGAT (Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories) says that it has kept the Kerem Shalom Crossing open in recent days and has overseen the entry of 256 trucks carrying 4,770 tons of goods. These included 134 trucks carrying 2,842 tons of food, 4 trucks carrying 26 tons of medicine and medical supplies, 44 trucks carrying 380 tons of humanitarian supplies and 3 trucks carrying 19 tons of agricultural inputs.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry also reported yesterday that COGAT has agreed to fly an additional group of 17 Gazans wounded in the conflict to Turkey for medical treatment, part of Israel’s international humanitarian cooperation policy during Operation Protective Edge. Last week, Israel responded to Turkey’s request to receive wounded Gazans by sending a flight of 19 civilians.
The Ministry reported that the patients were diagnosed in Gaza hospitals by Turkish physicians, who evaluated their medical condition and determined their ability to be flown.
In July Hamas leaders, frustrated with Egypt’s oversight in their Cairo negotiations with Israel, reached out to Turkey and Qatar to mediate the conflict. Hamas’s hope of cooperation and representation by Turkey, together with Turkey’s humanitarian involvement in Gaza, have helped fuel suspicions of collusion between the Turkish government and the terror group.