The Israeli military has apologised after one of its tanks accidentally opened fired and injured Egyptian border guards at the Gaza Strip border on Sunday.
The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said an Egyptian post near Kerem Shalom, a commercial goods junction, was hit in the strike. The IDF is investigating how it happened, adding it “expresses sorrow regarding the incident”.
Several Egyptian border guards sustained minor injuries after being accidentally hit by fragments of a shell from the tank, the Egyptian army said.
The IDF said: “The incident is being investigated and the details are under review. The IDF expresses sorrow regarding the incident.”
Kerem Shalom is one of three Gaza Strip border crossings – there is one in Rafah, Egypt, and another in Erez on the Israel-northern Gaza border – all of which have been closed since Hamas attacked Israel on 7 October.
This weekend the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing was opened temporarily to allow a convoy of aid trucks transport vital supplies to Gazans caught up in the conflict.
A convoy of 17 aid trucks passed through the crossing on Sunday, after 20 passed through on Saturday.
The UN has warned that the situation in Gaza “has reached catastrophic levels” and urged Israel and Hamas to ensure that the “critical” supplies reach Gazans unimpeded.
Immigration minister Robert Jenrick said the UK was “arguing at the highest level for further humanitarian assistance” for Gaza.
Appearing on Sky News’s Sunday with Trevor Phillips programme, he said: “This is a very welcome first step, but it is not the end. We clearly need to work very closely with the United Nations and with Egypt and Israel to ensure further consignments of humanitarian goods can come into Gaza.
“We’re co-ordinating closely with those partners and have been arguing, at the highest level, for further humanitarian assistance.”
Rishi Sunak has confirmed the UK is working with international partners to ensure British nationals trapped in Gaza can leave through the crossing while aid enters.
He also said the UK is trying to ensure that the RAF and Royal Navy have been deployed to the region to “monitor any emerging threats”.