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Israel continues to provide humanitarian assistance to Gaza despite war

By Mason White 2:26 PM August 14, 2014
Israeli doctors treating sick Palestinians of Gaza 

By: Anav Silverman
Israel continues to provide the citizens of Gaza with humanitarian assistance despite the war with Hamas, the Tazpit News Agency reported.

About 270 trucks carrying 5,580 tons of goods and supplies have entered Gaza via the Kerem Shalom Crossing since August 11, according to a report released by the Israel Ministry of Defense’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).

Among the trucks that entered the Gaza Strip, 133 were carrying 2,820 tons of food and 10 were carrying 100 tons of medicine and medical supplies.

Since July 8, 3,324 trucks have entered Gaza from Israel. In addition, Magen David Adom (MDA) transferred 18 Palestinian patients at the Erez Crossing, including sick and wounded individuals, from Gaza to Turkey via Ben Gurion Airport on Wednesday.

“Every month, Magen David Adom, transfers about 100 Palestinians patients from Gaza into Israel,” Zaki Heller, spokesperson for MDA told the Tazpit News Agency. “Usually we transport the sick Palestinians to Israeli hospitals, often to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. This time, the Palestinian patients opted for medical treatment in Turkey, so we brought them to Ben Gurion airport.”

At Ben Gurion Airport, the Palestinian patients received medical attention in a special terminal that was set up exclusively for them before they were flown on a Turkish aircraft to Ankara.

“We do this kind of humanitarian work with Palestinian patients year round,” added Heller.

Since Operation Protective Edge began on July 8th, 870 tons of medicine and medical supplies have entered Gaza through Israel, amid the 3,510 rockets fired during that time, according to the COGAT report.

In addition, COGAT has been working with international organizations and Palestinian authorities in order to repair critical infrastructure as quickly as possible in Gaza.

Because water and sewage functionality is dependent on electricity, restoring electrical power in Gaza has been a major priority. As of August 12, eight of ten feeder lines were working and the final two are expected to be working by the end of the week.

Israel has imported 4.44 million liters of diesel for the Gaza power station and 1.24 million liters for UNRWA since July 8 via the Kerem Shalom border crossing. In addition, 3,021 tons of gas for domestic use and 5.5 million liters of fuel and 2.72 million liters of benzene for transportation have been imported.

Earlier in the week, several rockets were fired at the Kerem Shalom crossing, hitting work areas at the crossing and endangering the lives of crossing workers. Because of the Hamas rocket attacks, the IDF was forced to close the crossing in the afternoon hours, noting that trucks carrying flammable materials to Gaza were almost hit.

The Kerem Shalom Crossing facilitates the passage of thousands of trucks full of medical and hygiene equipment, food products, raw materials, animal food, cleaning materials and home utensils, textiles, fuels and gas.

Throughout Operation Protective Edge, the Kerem Shalom crossing, which serves as the sole passage for vital humanitarian goods and equipment that are transferred to Gaza residents, was open despite constant firing in the area.