oPt

oPt: Humanitarian assistance to Gaza since June 19 calm understandings

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The Unit for Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories reports daily on the general humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. The data for the supplies transferred via the Kerem Shalom, Karni and Sufa crossings are based on the reports of Palestinian merchants.

Two-way traffic at the Erez Crossing of international organizations' staff, Gaza residents seeking medical treatment together with the people accompanying them ("medical evacuations"), and Palestinian civilians has been permitted for humanitarian reasons since 18 January 2007 and occurs daily.

Humanitarian aid includes food, medicines and medical equipment, tools and materials for esssential humanitarian infrastructures, and a certain amount of diesel fuel. Cement, sand, gravel and steel are not considered to be humanitarian aid.

Via the conveyor at the Karni Crossing, hundreds of tons of grain - wheat, barley, soy beans, corn, sesame seeds and animal feed - are transferred from Israel to the Gaza Strip every week. Since July 2008, cement and aggregate are also delivered on a regular basis.

Via the Nahal Oz fuel depot, diesel fuel for transportation and for the local Gaza power station, petrol, and gas for cooking and heating are transferred from Israel to the Gaza Strip, according to an assessment of civilian needs mandated by the Israeli court (weekly supply: petrol - 120,000 liters; diesel fuel for transportation - 1,200,000 liters; diesel fuel for power station - 2,900,000 liters; cooking and heating gas according to demand).

Via the Kerem Shalom and/or Sufa Crossing, the following supplies are transferred by truck from Israel to the Gaza Strip: food, including: baby formula and food, rice and legumes, fruits and vegetables, meat, chicken and fish, dairy products, flour and yeast, oil, salt and sugar; hygiene products; tools and raw materials for essential infrastructures; medicines and medical equipment; and a myriad of other items - ranging from school books to wheel chairs - needed by the civilian population.

The Kerem Shalom Crossing, the main crossing point for humanitarian goods since June 2007, was closed after it was attacked by terrorists on 19 April 2008. It reopened on August 18, after extensive repairs were completed.

On June 19, an understanding to establish a "state of calm" in the Gaza Strip and the Israeli territory adjacent to it went into effect. Since then, the amount of merchandise reaching the Gaza Strip via the Israeli crossings has increased by about 50% compared to the amount transferred in previous months. The fuel terminal at the Nahal Oz crossing also returned to its previous capacity. Civilians with compelling humanitarian problems continue to enter and leave the Gaza Strip through the Erez crossing.

On 24 June, five days after the calm understanding was reached, the Palestinians violated the arrangement by launching a mortar bomb and several rockets that landed in Israeli territory. The crossings were temporarily closed. The opening of the crossings and the amounts of goods allowed to pass through them is conditional on Palestinian adherence to the calm agreement.

The crossings are usually closed on Fridays and Saturdays (the Sabbath) and on Jewish holidays.

Nov. 16-17

Since November 6, the commercial crossings have been closed, due to the barrage of rockets and mortar bombs that Hamas and other terrorist organizations have launched at Israel.
Erez crossing has continued to be open to international and medical traffic, and 71 patients and their escorts crossed into Israel from the Gaza Strip for medical treatment.
On Nov. 17, 33 trucks carrying 606 tons of milk powder and baby food, meat and dairy products, flour, yeast, oil and other foods, as well as medications, were allowed to transfer their goods at the Kerem Shalom crossing

Week of November 9-15

The commercial crossings were closed. Via Erez crossing, 182 patients and their escorts crossed from the Gaza Strip into Israel for medical treatment. A limited amount of diesel fuel, 651,210 liters, was allowed into Gaza for the power station only.

November 2-4, 2008

421 trucks
12,160 tons of goods, including 230 tons of cement
425 tons of cooking and heating gas
148 medical evacuations
Nov. 2 - 124,410 liters of gasoline and 262,400 liters of diesel fuel
Nahal Oz, the fuel depot, was also open on Nov. 3-4, but notdetails were available.

Monthly summary: October 3-31

492 trucks
69,350 tons of humanitarian goods
492 medical evacuations