The humanitarian situation in Gaza
Israel is making a major effort to maintain the fabric of civilian life in
Gaza, despite the situation of current hostilities.
MFA 18 November 2012
1. Israel is making a major effort to maintain the fabric of civilian life
in Gaza, despite the situation of current hostilities. The IDF today (18
Nov) opened the Kerem Shalom crossing for movement of food, medicine and
other goods from Israel despite the ongoing rocket attacks on the Israeli
population and previous attacks on the crossing.
2. The Erez crossing was open today, as on every other day of Operation
Pillar of Defense. Seventy foreign journalists entered Gaza today by way of
Erez. Twenty Gazans entered Israel for medical treatment, and twenty-three
foreign nationals, representing NGOs who until now had been prevented by
Hamas from leaving the Gaza Strip, departed.
Food and Housing Security
1. Gaza is not experiencing food scarcity. Israel is not blocking entrance
of goods into Gaza, except for weaponry and dual-use materials. Construction
materials can be imported to Gaza under the supervision of international
2. Israel is continuing the yearly supply of five million cubic meters
(1,320,860,250 gallons) of water to Gaza, despite the rocket attacks on
Israeli cities and towns.
3. UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency) reports (17 Nov 2012) that despite
some displacement of families due to hostilities, "there hasn't been any
need to provide emergency humanitarian assistance or to open UNRWA
facilities as emergency shelters."
1. Between January-October 2012, approximately 14,500 patients and their
accompanying chaperones entered Israel from Gaza for medical treatment. 99%
of the medical requests by Palestinian residents of Gaza were approved by
2. The World Health Organization has reported a ten-day slowdown in referral
process for Gaza patients due to disagreements between the Ramallah and Gaza
3. Gaza hospitals are currently operating at 80% capacity (17 Nov), slightly
higher than routine periods.
4. Israel is not blocking entrance of medical supplies into Gaza. Requests
submitted by the international community are answered within 24-72 hours of
submission, almost always positively, and Israel has opened the Kerem Shalom
passage for transit of medical materials and other goods, despite the danger
to personnel at the crossing.
5. At present, there is a shortage of some medical supplies in Gaza due to
disagreements between Hamas and the PA, and budgetary difficulties of the
6. UNRWA reports that all of its 21 health centers are open and functioning.
Of UNRWA's 12,000 staff members in Gaza, only one person has sustained
injuries in the hostilities, and those are minor.
1. Israel is supplying 125 megawatts of electricity to the Gaza Strip from
the power station in Ashkelon despite the rocket attacks on Israel's
population, and on Ashkelon itself.
2. Gaza continues to suffer from power outages due to a deliberate policy of
Hamas, which opposes import of fuel from Israel. As a result, the Gaza power
station is operating at 20% capacity.