IDF to distribute aid directly to Gazans – report

The idea is to prevent Hamas from stealing the food and fuel, which allows it to prolong the war.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The IDF may start distributing humanitarian aid directly to civilians in the Gaza Strip, Israel Hayom reported Wednesday.

In the plan currently under consideration by the Israeli government, the army would work with the international bodies currently in full charge of the aid trucks passing into the coastal enclave after undergoing security inspections at Israel’s Kerem Shalom and Nitzana crossings.

According to the report, two aid centers will be established, one in the northern part of the Strip and one in the center, and the Gazans will have to go there in order to receive food, water, medicine and other basic supplies.

This kind of control over the aid would hopefully prevent Hamas from stealing the supplies, which includes fuel that directly allows it to prolong the war by powering their generators for electricity and a steady air supply in the tunnels in which they hide.

Currently the terror organization can physically take over the entering vehicles, as has been seen in video clips online, or can have one of its members who is employed by UNRWA, one of the main aid organizations receiving shipments from abroad, simply divert its trucks.

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Israeli intelligence has revealed that some 10% of the UN agency’s personnel belong to either Hamas or other terrorist groups in Gaza. A dozen of them were outed last week as having directly participated in the invasion of Israel on October 7, 2023 in which 1,200 people were massacred and some 250 abducted into Gaza.

The report led almost a dozen countries, led by the U.S., to suspend their financial support of the UN body.

Channel 14 reported that last week, Shabak chief Ronen Bar told the cabinet that 60-70% of the aid trucks are either stolen outright or just emptied of their contents by Hamas.

Sefi Ben Chaim, the founder of Tzav 9, a grassroots group that has led hundreds of activists a day to protest at the aid crossings or as close as they can get after the areas were declared closed military zones, has said numerous times that Hamas takes the aid and then sells part of it to hungry citizens for exponential sums after having received it for free.

There is widespread support in the Israeli public for Tzav 9’s mission to stop all humanitarian aid at least until every single one of the 136 hostages Hamas is still holding is freed.  As one of the group’s activists said Wednesday, “I fought in Gaza and came [to Kerem Shalom] to finish the war. We love the soldiers and don’t attack anyone but our mission is to stop this disgrace happening in the State of Israel – aiding the enemy during wartime.”

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Israel Hayom noted that the plan is only in its initial proposal stage. The IDF is currently studying it, and may make several changes before it comes to a vote.