(Semi-)Weekly summary - 16-20 November


Food and medical aid into Gaza

Since November 6, UNRWA and Israel have sent a combined total of 606 tons into Gaza, all in one 33-truck convoy. Since that convoy, this Wednesday, no further aid has entered Gaza, despite the Yediot Ahronot newspaper claiming there would be 30 trucks daily. 150 rockets have been fired into southern Israel from Gaza; Israel has kept all 4 goods crossings closed. This represents a below-average amount of aid.

Medical aid from Israel

107 patients (and chaperones accompanying them) came into Israel for medical treatment in the last 5 days. This is an average number of cases.

Humanitarian aid support from the international community

Aid workers continued to enter and exit Gaza throughout the week, providing a range of services through NGOs and the UN.
Also this week,
UNRWA appealed for an injection of core funding to continue its projects in Gaza. In response, the EU and the Catalan government immediately pledged €5.5m (about $7m). UNRWA is reporting a projected $160m shortfall in its budget this year.

COGAT update 20 November

No aid trucks today

Bad news:
Nahal Oz, Karni, Sufa and Kerem Shalom (all the goods crossings) stayed closed. (Israel says this is due to 150 rockets launched over the last 14 days).

Good news:

48 more patients and chaperones left Gaza for medical treatment in Israel.

2 international aid workers went into Gaza and 3 left.

Lets hope for more aid over the next few days.

€430k more for UNWRA


Without the drops, the ocean would be dry the Catalan Development Cooperation Agency has contributed €430k this year and pledged €470k next for UNRWA in Gaza.

Only another €159.4m left to cover the core cost shortfall

UNRWA chief: UN provided "concrete benefits for Palestinian refugees" in Gaza

Speaking in Amman, Karen AbuZayd, UNRWA Commissioner General, has asked donor countries to provide $160m to allow UNRWA to continue its crucial work in Gaza and the Middle East.

She praised her team in Gaza, which had "courageously blazed a trail of innovation and constructive change with concrete benefits." AbuZayd cited a "revamped human rights curriculum, gender initiatives and reforms of social-safety net targeting" as key achievements of the UNRWA over its mission so far.

Of $605m requested in 2008, UNRWA has received just $38m, including €5m from the EU announced today. Its contributions to building infrastructure in Gaza include the Schools of Excellence project and a hugely effective community mental health programme.

COGAT update 19 November


Bad news:
No aid entered Gaza today. All the goods crossings stayed closed.

Good news:

36 patients and chaperones entered Israel for medical treatment.
5 aid workers entered Gaza, and 3 left for Israel.

And more good news: there were no ceasefire violations today either.

COGAT update 18 November


As earlier reported, Israel allowed 33 trucks into Gaza again today through Kerem Shalom.

Before the blockade, COGAT had detailed what was in the aid shipments – they are now releasing that detail again.

Bad news: Nahal Oz, Karni, Sufa (goods crossings) all closed.
Reasonable news: Kerem Shalom open for 33 truckloads – total 606 tons aid.
Good news: 48 patients and accompanists left for medical treatment. 4 aid workers entered Gaza and 3 left for Israel.

What was on the trucks?
70 tons milk powder and formula
79 tons meat, chicken and fish
121 tons dairy goods
50 tons Other foodstuffs
222 tons flour and yeast
57 tons oil
7 tons medication

We’ll find a more visually manageable way of representing this data shortly.

UNRWA news report

UNRWA spokesperson Christopher Guinness appeared on UN Radio yesterday morning, talking about what the aid trucks mean for the people of Gaza.

Listen to the report here.

EU provides extra €5m for refugees in Gaza

UNRWA reports that the EU is expanding its subsidy under the existing Special Hardship Programme. The aid is targeted at the most vulnerable families.

To date this year, EU subsidies have totalled €23m; this will bring the total aid from the EU to Gaza to €28m.

Roy Dickinson, EU Head of Operations:

"This grant of new funds for the most vulnerable Gazans demonstrates clearly that the European Commission is living up to its undertaking that it will never let the people of Gaza down.

In partnership with the Palestinian Authority, and in partnership with UNRWA, the European Union has managed to maintain flows of assistance – in contributions to salaries and pension, in fuel, medicines and food – in even the most difficult times. And we are completely determined to continue to do so, whatever the obstacles."

UN calls for Israel to lift blockade

In a speech to Geneva today, Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has accused Israel of breaching international human rights law.

This follows UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s statements on Saturday. His office said:

      “Food and other life saving assistance is being denied to hundreds of thousands of people, and (emphasized) that measures which increase the hardship and suffering of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip as a whole are unacceptable and should cease immediately.

      "The Secretary-General is deeply concerned at the deterioration of the humanitarian and security situation in Gaza and southern Israel, and at the potential for further suffering and violence. He calls on all parties to uphold international humanitarian and human rights law."

Israel’s Yediot Ahronot newspaper also reports that the IDF (Israel Defence Forces) will continue to provide 30 trucks of aid a day during this blockade.

COGAT update 17 November

The news today is that Israel allowed in 33 trucks of aid to shore up dwindling supplies.

Other goods crossings stayed closed, as they have been since 6 November.

However, medical cases and aid workers continue to be allowed through.

Bad news: Nahal Oz (fuel), Karni, Sufa and Kerem Shalom (goods) all closed.

Good news: Erez open for humanitarian movements again!
23 Gazans entered Israel for medical treatment or as chaperones.
And a further 6 international workers entered Gaza.

Israel also conducted an incursion into Gaza today but there were no injuries.

COGAT big update: 9-15 November


Usually COGAT publish reports daily. However, since the crossings were closed on 6 November, the flow of goods has been extremely low and they've elected to publish a report covering the whole week. So:

  • Bad news: Sufa, Karni and Kerem Shalom (the goods crossings) were all closed.
  • Reasonable news: Israel delivered 651,210 litres of fuel at Nahal Oz - that's about half the normal amount.
  • Good news: Erez stayed open for humanitarian and medical cases. 20 aid workers entered Gaza, 182 people left for medical treatment or to accompany patients, and 50 Palestinians entered Israel 'for humanitarian reasons'.