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Sunday, November 18, 2012
Operation Pillar of Defense Information Overview: Medical Supplies in Gaza

Operation Pillar of Defense
Information Overview: Medical Supplies in Gaza
STATE OF ISRAEL
MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
COORDINATION OF GOVERNMENT ACTIVITIES IN THE TERRITORIES
Office of the Spokesman, COGAT. Hakirya, Tel-Aviv. Tel:
972-3-6977611 Fax: 972-3-6977674
18 November 2012

Background Overview:

The long standing shortage of medicines and medical supplies in Gaza stems
primarily from a dysfunctional relationship between the Palestinian
Ministries of Health in Gaza and Ramallah. The conflicts between the two
offices have resulted not only in a shortage of medicines and supplies, but
also in restricted access to medical treatments for patients outside of
Gaza.

The Coordination and Liaison Administration to Gaza:

1. The CLA works to ensure that patients from Gaza have the access they
need to get medical treatments.

2. Of the thousands of patients that requested permits to enter Israel
for medical treatments, 99.3% were approved. Patients were only denied
permits when it was determined that they could receive necessary treatment
inside Gaza (Sept 2012).

3. From January to October 2012, more than 14,500 permits were issued by
the Gaza CLA for patients and their chaperones to leave Gaza through the
Erez Crossing.

4. All the requests for medical supplies (equipment and medicine)
submitted by the international community to the Gaza CLA have been approved
for entry into Gaza.

5. On average medical supply requests (medicines and light equipment) are
approved within a span of 24-72 hours. Coordination of approved medical
supplies is completed within one working day after the organization submits
the intended day of import.

6. Since September 2012, international organizations, in coordination
with the Gaza CLA, have impoted 32 trucks of drugs and medical supplies
through Kerem Shalom Crossing. This has included spare parts for dialysis
machines, helium for MRI machines, and three fully equipped ambulances. An
additional five loads of medicine were imported into Gaza through the Erez
Crossing through special coordination.

Shortages and Restricted Access:

1. The restricted medical supplies in Gaza are marked by a shortage of
400-500 varieties of medical equipment (out of a defined 700), including a
shortage of surgical and anesthetic equipment.

2. There is an average shortage of 33% of desired types of drugs at any
given time.

3. According to the World Health Organization, the process of referrals
for patients from Gaza to receive treatment in Israel, the West Bank, and
Jordan was suspended for nearly 10 days due to disagreements between the
Ramallah and Gaza Health Ministries. As a result, a 38% reduction in monthly
referrals left several hundred patients without necessary treatment.

4. The WHO reports that due to the failure of the Palestinian Ministry of
Health to pay its accruing debts to Jordan, Jordanian hospitals refused to
accept government referrals of patients from Gaza.

5. Medical suppliers are often reluctant to sell supplies to Gaza since
there are issues with non-payment.

Operation Pillar of Defense:

1. Gaza hospitals are reported to be at 80% capacity, only slightly
higher than intake then during routine periods.

2. On November 17th, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the
Territories updated Hassin el Alshich that, despite the problematic security
situation and the ongoing rocket fire, it would be possible to transfer
medical supplies into Gaza.

3. Tomorrow morning, 18 November 2012, 10 Red Cross trucks with medical
supplies and one UNRWA truck are scheduled to enter Gaza via Kerem Shalom
Crossing. Two trucks have been designated as being of particular importance
as they are carrying much needed anesthetics and bandages.

4. Since the start of the operation there have been two reported
incidents of light damage to medical facilities due to shocks from Israeli
air strikes on terrorist infrastructure in the vicinity.

a. Light damage to windows and doors of the Al-Quds hospital and the
nearby Palestinian Red Crescent station in the Gaza district. Two Al Quds
workers also sustained light injuries.

b. Light damage to windows in the Al-Karma hospital in the Jabaliya
District.

Mechanisms for Entry of Medical Supplies into Gaza:

There are three channels through which drugs and medical equipment enter
Gaza:

#1 The Gaza Ministry of Health establishes a need for a certain drug or
medical item and submits a request through => The Ministry of Health in
Ramallah=> If items are located in the West Bank, they receive approval from
the Civil Administration's Health Department=> The request is approved by
the Gaza CLA Health Coordinator.=> After approval from either COGAT
headquarters to the Gaza CLA, delivery is coordinated to enter Gaza through
Kerem Shalom Crossing.

#2 The Gaza Ministry of Health establishes a need for a certain drug or
medical item and submits a request through=>An international organization
that then submits the request to the Gaza CLA=> If the supplies originate
from Israel or abroad, the request is immediately transferred to the Gaza
CLA.=> After approval from either COGAT headquarters to the Gaza CLA,
delivery is coordinated to enter Gaza through Kerem Shalom Crossing.

#3 The Gaza Ministry of Health establishes a need for a certain drug or
medical item and submits a request through=> An international organization
submits a request to COGAT, classified as a donation.=> After approval from
either COGAT headquarters to the Gaza CLA, delivery is coordinated to enter
Gaza through Kerem Shalom Crossing.

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