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OPT: Increased humanitarian aid to Gaza after IDF operation, 11 Dec 2009

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COGAT - Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories, Ministry of Defense

Since the end of the IDF operation in Gaza (18 Jan 2009), 668,393 tons of aid and over a billion liters (100,645,680) of fuel have been delivered to the Gaza Strip.

At the Cabinet meeting of 22 March 2009, the Government of Israel instructed the bodies dealing with the matter, to enable the entry - without restriction - of foodstuffs to the residents of Gaza from all relevant sources, after it has been verified that they are indeed foodstuffs, and this in the framework of the humanitarian efforts. The Government directed that the foregoing be scrupulously implemented.

Note: Gas for domestic use (cooking and heating) is supplied according to Palestinian demand and is not subject to any limitation by Israel. However, the fuel depot at Nahal Oz has been forced to limit its operations due to constant security threats. Work is being done to adapt Kerem Shalom crossing to the transfer of fuel. In addition, a new gas line is being built that will double the capacity to transfer gas for domestic use.

Some 2009 Statistics: Humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip has increased by close to 900 percent in 2009 compared to the previous year (Col. Moshe Levi, head of the IDF's Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration, Nov. 16, 2009).

Since the beginning of 2009, the IDF has allowed over 4,000 Palestinians from Gaza, together with 3,600 escorts, to enter Israel (or via Israel to the West Bank) for medical treatment.The IDF has also issued over 18,500 permits for Palestinians to leave Gaza and enter Israel or travel overseas (statistics as of November 16, 2009).

The IDF permitted the transfer of building materials to the Gaza Strip to facilitate the construction of a covered corridor (which opened the first week of November) to shelter Palestinians walking from the outskirts of Gaza City to the Erez Crossing.

COGAT Press Release: On December 11, 2009, a newborn baby girl suffering from a heart condition was transferred to the Tel Hashomer hospital in Israel from the Nasri Children's Hospital in the Gaza Strip for immediate medical treatment.

The Head of the DCO in Gaza, Col. Moshe Levi stated that the District Coordination Office routinely coordinates the transfer of patients from the Gaza Strip into Israel for medical treatment.

In 2009, ten thousand patients and their escorts were able to leave the Gaza Strip in order to receive medical treatment within Israel and the Judea and Samaria region.

Weekly summary of the Gaza crossings: 6-12 Dec 2009

- 614 truckloads (13,406 tons) of humanitarian aid were transferred to the Gaza Strip via the Kerem Shalom cargo terminal and the Karni conveyor belt.

- 2,219,020 liters of heavy-duty diesel for the Gaza power station and 767 tons of cooking gas were delivered via the Kerem Shalom crossing and the Nahal Oz fuel depot.

- 284 Gaza residents entered Israel for medical reasons and 71 humanitarian cases crossed via the Erez Crossing.

November summary:

Contrary to persistent reports of a "siege" on the Gaza Strip, there is considerable movement of goods and people between Israel and Gaza. In November:

- The amount of merchandise entering the Gaza Strip increased - over 64,000 tons (89% from the private sector and only 11% from the international community) of food, medicines, hygiene products, clothing, agricultural supplies, and cement.

- Fuel: Almost 10 million liters of diesel fuel for the power station and over 1,100 tons of cooking gas were delivered to the Gaza Strip.

- 7,000 heads of cattle were imported for the Eid al-Adha holiday.

- 1,862 Palestinians crossed from the Gaza Strip into Israel, the West Bank and the Allenby Bridge crossing.

- 848 International staff members entered the Gaza Strip.

- 83 Israelis entered the G.S for humanitarian reasons.

- The Erez Terminal renovations are almost complete on the Palestinian side. All that is needed is the installation of the electrical wiring in order to complete the project. This should be accomplished in December.

- The Power Plant in Gaza received 12 new transformers as well as other electrical equipment.

- The North Gaza Wastewater facility was discussed at several meetings between World Bank officials and members of the Palestinian and Israeli infrastructure teams.

- Communications equipment was delivered to the Palestinian Water Authority.