IDF re-opens Gaza crossings for humanitarian needs after ceasefire

Gaza's sole power plant was forced to cease its operations on Saturday after it ran out of fuel.

 A truck carrying fuel imports for the lone power plant rolls into Gaza, after Israel eased up closures, as ceasefire holds in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, August 8, 2022.  (photo credit: REUTERS/IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA)
A truck carrying fuel imports for the lone power plant rolls into Gaza, after Israel eased up closures, as ceasefire holds in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, August 8, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA)

The IDF reopened its two crossings into the Gaza Strip for humanitarian purposes, in an additional signal that its violent flareup with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad known as Operation Breaking Dawn is now over.

Among the humanitarian items that entered Gaza was fuel for Gaza's sole power plant, which was forced to cease its operations on Saturday leaving the two million Palestinians in the Strip with only four hours of electricity a day.

The IDF, however, has yet to decide to fully restore the operations at the crossings.

"The future opening of the crossings and the full return to the routine will be possible following further assessments of the situation and provided that the security situation in the area is quiet."

Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories Maj.-Gen. Ghasan Alya

Israel runs two of Gaza's three crossings, a commercial one at Kerem Shalom and a pedestrian one at Erez. The latter was hit by Palestinian Islamic Jihad mortars on Sunday.

The damage from mortar bombs that fell on the Erez crossing during Operation Breaking Dawn. (credit: MINISTRY OF DEFENSE SPOKESPERSON’S OFFICE)The damage from mortar bombs that fell on the Erez crossing during Operation Breaking Dawn. (credit: MINISTRY OF DEFENSE SPOKESPERSON’S OFFICE)

Egypt also has a crossing at Rafah which has been closed for the last year.

Why did the crossings close?

The IDF had closed its two crossings already on Tuesday, as it braced for retaliatory action after it arrested Islamic Jihad leader Bassam al-Saadi in Jenin, but full-fledged violence did not break out until Friday when the IDF assassinated Islamic Jihad commander Tayseer al-Jabari. 

Egypt and the UN helped mediate a truce that went into effect overnight.