Palestinian border crossing chief killed in Israeli attack

Palestinian border crossing chief killed in Israeli attack
The director of Israeli-controlled Karem Abu Salem crossing, Bassem Ghaben, was working on the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza.

2 min read
21 December, 2023
The crossing temporarily opened on Friday to allow the delivery of much needed aid into Gaza [Getty]

A Palestinian border crossing director in southern Gaza has been killed by an Israeli strike, Palestinian officials said on Thursday.

Bassem Ghaben, the director of the Israeli-controlled Karem Abu Salem crossing – known as Kerem Shalom in Israel – was killed with three other people by Israeli fire, Gaza health and border authorities said.

Ghaben had been working on bringing in humanitarian aid into the besieged enclave through the southern crossing, which opened on Friday.

The attack shows that the Israeli military was targeting routes relied on for the entry of much-needed aid into the enclave.

"This is part of an ongoing systematic campaign of destruction," Al Jazeera reporter Hani Mahmoud said. "It is unclear if the crossing is going to continue to work."

Israel said it was not aware of the attack on Karem Abu Salem.

The crossing, located on the southern tip of Gaza bordering Israel, was approved for temporary reopening on Friday, to allow the flow of aid into Gaza, where 1.9 million people are displaced and in desperate need of food, water, and medicine.


Previously, aid had been limited to the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.

The border chief’s killing came as Israeli raids pounded all areas of the besieged strip, hitting 230 targets in just 24 hours, according to the Israeli army.

Since 7 October, Israel's relentless and indiscriminate onslaught on Gaza has killed over 19,000 people - including more than 8,000 children and 6,200 women. At least 8,000 people were missing, believed to be dead under rubble.

At least 222 medical staffs have also been killed by Israeli attacks, which have targetted hospitals, schools, mosques and churches.