UN Security Council resolution 1860


The UN is fully committed to aid to Gaza. Good:

2.   Calls for the unimpeded provision and distribution throughout Gaza of humanitarian assistance, including of food, fuel and medical treatment;

3.   Welcomes the initiatives aimed at creating and opening humanitarian corridors and other mechanisms for the sustained delivery of humanitarian aid;

4.   Calls on Member States to support international efforts to alleviate the humanitarian and economic situation in Gaza, including through urgently needed additional contributions to UNRWA and through the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee



BBC: ICRC only operating in Gaza City

“… because of a security situation yesterday…” said their spokesperson.

More as we get it.


Israel appeals to UNRWA

This from the horse’s mouth – the official call for help from Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Israel establishes the humanitarian corridor and ceasefire for Palestinian civilians just as UNRWA decides to pull out:

Israel views the humanitarian work being carried out by the international aid organizations in Gaza, headed by UNRWA, as very important, especially during this period of hardship to the local population due to the ongoing fighting.

Israel is committed to do everything to assist these organizations in performing their work and is prepared to conduct a positive dialogue with them in order to solve any problems that may develop. The channels of communication are open, and should be used for the benefit of the civilian population in Gaza.

Israel decided to establish "humanitarian recesses" in its military activity in order to enable the civilians in Gaza to supply themselves with food and water and to receive medical treatment, and to enable the aid organizations to carry out their work properly and as safely as possible.

More news: sanitation, power, sewage...

We wish we could release the COGAT report – it really does show how much Israel and Egypt are cooperating to repair some of the damage to civilian infrastructure caused by the fighting over the last two weeks.

However, in lieu of releasing the document online, we can provide it by email on request.

In the meantime, here are the headlines:


·         From Israel: Of the ten high-voltage lines that Israel uses to supply 124MW of power to Gaza, 6 are damaged
3 were fixed 7-8/1/09; 3 are due to be fixed today/tomorrow

·         From Egypt: Of the two high-voltage lines that Egypt uses to supply 17MW of power to Gaza, 1 was damaged and is now fixed
Unfortunately it carried the majority – 12MW - but it was fixed on 7/1/09

·         From Gaza: The power station, which can produce 60-80MW, has been offline while diesel stocks ran too low and the main line out was damaged

·         Israel is in the process of transferring the necessary fuel – 0.7m of 1.5m litres so far – and once restocking is complete it will reopen

·         The local power station staff are fixing the line and it was due to be finished on 8/1/09

·         And 20 transformers and other parts are being transferred by Israel at the request of the power station staff and should have been transferred 8/1/09


Water treatment

·         Israel has transferred enough hypochoric (?) acid to treat and asnitise all Gaza’s water supplies for a month

·         Mahmoud Abbas has requested a number of generators be supplied to water treatment plants – these should be supplied over the next few days



·         Local staff at the North Gaza Treatment Plant have asked Israel to provide a range of equipment and expertise in order to get the treatment plant working again (this treatment plant has been one of the foci of major concern by Oxfam and others over the past few days).


There’s more detail in the file – we are happy to pass it on if requested.

Sky breaking news: ICRC suspending operations too?

Sky News is carrying a ticker which claims ICRC is also pulling back from Gaza, following UNRWA’s similar surprise announcement.

ICRC have primarily been responsible for a huge amount of medical support to Gazan civilians, and facilitating the flow of medical supplies into and around Gaza.

Their access was previously restricted by the IDF at the start of the conflict but the situation was resolved at the start of this week.

The Gazan population desperately needs their support – it would be a tragedy if they were to pull out now.

Click here to donate to ICRC’s incredible work in Gaza.

More information as we receive it.


34 medical cases treated in Israel on Wednesday

COGAT notes (almost as a footnote) that Israel evacuated 34 Palestinians into Israel for emergency treatment on Wednesday alone.

They note that local southern Israeli hospitals are expecting to receive further civilian casualties for the rest of the week.

Israel has of course been evacuating casualties – and normal medical cases – since the beginning of the conflict.

We are happy to make connections with COGAT spokespersons for news agencies – leave us your details in a comment and we’ll call you back when we do the moderation.


COGAT update 8 Jan: aid deliveries on 2nd day of ceasefire

During yesterday’s 3-hour lull…

89 trucks of aid (2227 tons) came in through Kerem Shalom: food, medical supplies and medication

315,000 litres of fuel went into Nahal Oz’s silos
143 tons of natural gas also went into Nahal Oz

… and 223 foreign nationals came out of Gaza through Erez.

Of the 89 trucks:
1 came from Mercy Corps
1 from Italy
2 from ICRC
4 from WHO – first one since Jan 1
7 from Jordan – part of the daily aid transfer
12 from the World Food Programme
15 from UNRWA
and 47 came from the private sector

UNRWA in Gaza: more details


YNet has just issued a story detailing the reasons for UNRWA ceasing (temporarily, we hope) its work in Gaza: the IDF killed one of its local workers on his way to collect a shipment.

"The UN is suspending its aid operations in Gaza until we can get safety and security guarantees for our staff," spokesman Chris Gunness said. "We've been coordinating with them (Israeli forces) and yet our staff continues to be hit and killed."

UNRWA supports up to 750,000 Gazans with daily rounds to 20,000 people, and employs 9,000 local staff, providing a significant boost to Gaza’s economy.

Ban Ki-Moon: UN priorities in Gaza

Amongst other statements on Gaza available on its UNRWA website, the UN has issued a statement from Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. Included within it is a statement of the UN’s aid priorities:

We are in close contact with the Israeli authorities to press them to open not only the Kerem Shalom crossing, but also Karni and Nahal Oz, to allow in, particularly, wheat grain and fuel for the power plant, as well as other essential supplies.

BBC/wire: UNRWA suspends work in Gaza again

Apparently because their premises keep coming under attack. More soon.

Mercy Corps interview: 'It's very hard to get aid into Gaza'

Cassandra Nelson of Mercy Corps is live on BBC News claiming that aid is ‘extremely hard’ to get in and even harder to get around – that ‘aid is an absolute trickle’.

This contrasts strongly with Mercy Corps’ earlier statements, and with other NGOs’ experiences, which is a shame.

Mercy Corps has brought in 3 tons of aid on 1 truck so far to Gaza.                   

We’d love to hear from any Mercy Corps organisers so we can try to help them coordinate more closely with the other NGOs.

Amazing report on Egyptian hospital assistance

ICRC has published a report detailing the work Egyptian doctors are doing at Rafah to help the wounded that turn up there. Previous reports have documented the hurdles they have to go to to help the wounded – see this video from the Guardian website.

Also, note the report that Israel's forces are helping ambulances get to Rafah earlier today - but note the concern that ICRC voices over unnecessary hindrances by Israeli troops too.

Updated COGAT report: 6 January aid, fuel and power through widened corridor

Yesterday Israel widened its aid corridor and coordinated the influx of aid with a 3 hour lull in fighting.

Hamas voluntarily mirrored the lull, and the aid agencies were coordinated in advance via the Tel Aviv situation centre, so the flow of aid into and around Gaza was greatly improved.

In an unusual update, COGAT have reported that the amount of aid going in was even better than expected – even including the new fuel pipeline.

So here are the updated details:

76 trucks carrying 2068 tons of aid

482,000 litres of diesel for the power station

92,000 litres of diesel for the UN

43 tons of gas for domestic use

Plus this very good news:

The Coordination and Liaison Administration also coordinated the movement of 14 ambulances from Shifa hospital to the Rafah border crossing to facilitate medical evacuation of wounded. Further coordination activities included transport of fuel tankers to replenish diesel supplies in hospitals in the northern region, and coordination of access to main power lines to rehabilitate the power supply. Works are underway and are expected to be completed over the next few days. Supplies for the electrical infrastructure are scheduled to be shipped tomorrow (8.1.2009).

UNRWA: new emergency appeal

UNRWA’s Syria office has launched a local $35m appeal for funding. The press release doesn’t mention the Flash Appeal begun a few days ago, but we assume that the monies go into the same pot.

Click here to donate to UNRWA’s amazing work in Gaza.


Why is USAID so quiet?

USAID in Gaza have gone from publishing a press release every day throughout November to having published zero since December 4.

Why are they so quiet? Why aren’t they publicizing any of the work they must be doing in Gaza?


Israel formally opens Humanitarian Affairs Coordination Centre


The IDF’s taken over running the situation room, which makes sense since Tzipi Livni’s busy with lots of things.

Here’s what they have to say on who they’re coordinating with and what the point is:

Today, the IDF opened a Humanitarian Affairs Coordination Center (HACC) today, in Tel-Aviv. 

The center's aim is to coordinate between the different organizations operating in the field and those of the IDF and will not replace existing structures. The center will place highest priority to the evacuation of foreign nationals and to coordinating the flow of food, fuel and supplies of goods to the humanitarian organizations.

Organizations represented include the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), USAID, World Food Program, the European Commission, the United Nations Special Coordintor for the Middle East (UNSCO), UNRWA, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, as well as Israeli governmental agencies and IDF departments.

Journalists in Gaza

Finally the IDF are allowing an agreed 8 journalists into Gaza. This from the IDF spokesperson:

Dear international journalists,

The Israel Defence Forces has permitted the entry of a limited embed press pool into the Gaza Strip and will be distributing footage from this pool later tonight.

Access to video material from Gaza will be via the operations office at JCS.

The Israeli court system had ruled that the Foreign Press Association could bring up to 8 journalists into Gaza; journalists have been lobbying ever since to be allowed in. Let’s hope they’re kept safe and can keep  their reports unbiased.


New direct fuel pipeline laid in Gaza

We’ve been passed information which was given to NGO leaders in Tzipi Livni’s new ‘humanitarian situation room’.

Apparently Israel’s been working behind the scenes to improve the flow of aid, just as UNRWA complains not enough is being done.

This may indicate the first of a series of improvements to aid delivery programmes:
150,000 litres of fuel went in through a new pipeline, straight into the power station

In addition, 440,000 litres of fuel and cooking gas went into the Nahal Oz fuel silos the normal way.

More details as we hear them.

UNRWA's first report on the 3 hour ceasefire

BBC News carries the head of UNRWA in Gaza reporting on today’s 3 hour window.

He reports that during that time UNRWA received 36 trucks – 31 fuel, 5 medicine – of the 80 trucks expected today.

Yesterday COGAT distributed 57 trucks to all aid agencies.

“But we need more…

People need to be brave enough to come to our centres and collect their aid… 3 hours might not be enough.”

Plus he reports that the UNRWA shipment was nearly hit twice by Israeli shells on its way out of the distribution centre, before the window. Bad news.

COGAT details: 6 January aid deliveries

This has been updated: see the post above for even better news.

57 trucks carrying 1312 tons through Kerem Shalom:

· Flour, powdered milk, medical supplies and medication, barley and animal feed

· All at the request of UNRWA, WFP and WHO, and provided by Jordan, Egypt and Greece.

Plus there’s more good news…

· Israel’s supplying hypochlorite to help improve clean water supplies

· And with the help of ICRC, the government is restoring a power line into Gaza City which will provide an extra 12MW of power immediately – it’s desperately needed.

Here's the scoop from COGAT

From the Israeli PM’s office:

In order to prevent a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has decided to adopt a security establishment proposal to establish a humanitarian corridor in the Strip to assist the population. This would entail opening geographic areas for certain periods of time during which the population would be able to equip itself and receive the assistance. The exact details will be determined by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories [COGAT].

And from COGAT direct (our bold):

Following the decision of the Israeli political echelon, as of today (Wednesday, 7 January 2009) the IDF will refrain from fire throughout Gaza City for a period of three hours a day, in order to provide a "humanitarian corridor" for the people of the city. During this time, the residents of the city will be able to acquire basic necessities, and damaged infrastructures can be repaired. Today, Wednesday, the IDF will halt all fire in Gaza City from 13:00-16:00 (1:00-4:00 pm).

In addition, about 80 trucks carrying food, medicine and basic equipment are scheduled to pass into Gaza via the Kerem Shalom crossing. About half a million liters of fuel are scheduled to pass through the Nahal Oz terminal, as well as 60,000 liters of fuel to be transferred for the first time by truck via the Kerem Shalom crossing.


Confirmed: aid corridor open

Following the Israelis’ agreement to stop their action for three hours a day, the aid corridor is now open.

Israel is allowing the free flow of aid from humanitarian distribution networks until at least 2pm today.

From the BBC:
Israel has halted military operations in Gaza for three hours in the first of a daily, planned ceasefire, it says.
An Israeli spokesman said it would allow Gazans to "get medical attention, get supplies... whatever they need".


ICRC calls for more water and quicker ambulances


In today’s operational update, ICRC note that only 35 of Gaza’s 45 wells are still functional, leading to a requirement for water to be trucked in.

They also note that although they have ambulances, they often can’t reach the wounded in time – again, more concern for access for humanitarian needs as noted earlier by WHO and WFP.

Details of DFID £4m to Gaza

A press release has appeared on DFID's website giving more details of the £4m (€4m / $6m) donation they're passing to Gaza.

DFID notes that their aid will specifically go to providing more fuel to Gaza. Israel has provided only 300,000 litres of fuel this week – far below the stated requirement of 1.5m to 2m litres a week.

They'll be tying it into UNRWA's Flash Appeal, the stated aims of which are to feed 500,000 people, rehouse 5,000 Gazans made homeless by the Israeli action, and provide cash assistance for 2,500 families.


Diary of an aid worker: updated

Hatem Shurrab, working with UK charity Islamic Relief Worldwide, is blogging on the BBC website from Gaza – he’s just posted his latest update.


Everyone's waiting for the UN...

A BBC reporter in New York is reporting that rumours suggest the UN is preparing the ground for a ceasefire, dependent on:

Aid corridors in Gaza, as called for yesterday by Egypt

Free flow of aid into Gaza – potentially more than what’s going in already

UK government sends £4m aid to Gaza

Sky News's updates service is reporting that UK International Secretary Douglas Alexander has given the green light to an immediate £4m transfer of aid to Gaza – part of the promised £6.8m pledge.

No details on how this will be transferred, or what it will be for – we'll let you know when we know.


UNRWA's bleak outlook on Sky News

UNRWA’s Chris Gunness reports on UK’s Sky News that aid distribution is becoming increasingly hard as Gaza’s north-south roads are cut.

94,000 cash distributions and 70,000 food aid distributions have been stopped today; although supplies are going, in the possibility of distribution is becoming more complex.

Egyptian hospitals' trials and tribulations

Great video on the UK’s Guardian website about the uphill struggle Egyptian doctors face in trying to treat Palestinian casualties in Gaza.


COGAT update: 5 January aid deliveries

Bad news:
War in Gaza.

Good news:
Kerem Shalom open yesterday.
49 trucks carried food, medical supplies and medication:
19 from UNRWA
12 from WFP
7 from Jordan
6 from the private sector
3 from ICRC
2 from Egypt

306,000 litres of fuel went into the Nahal Oz silos - of that, 93,000 litres was earmarked for UN efforts
50 tons of cooking gas also went into Nahal Oz fuel silos

As we previously reported, the World Food Programme restarted its convoys after a 2-day lapse…

and the Erez people crossing was opened to allow 2 nurses and 2 doctors in to work for ICRC.

Aid going into Gaza yesterday

Here’s a video the Israeli authorities have released – 80 trucks delivering aid to Gaza yesterday.


OCHA and ReliefWeb roundup


Loads of aid on ReliefWeb, catching up from their Christmas break: here it is in short.



  • 3 Jan – Bahrain sent 80 tons of medical and food aid to El-Arish, to be transported to Gaza
  • 3 Jan – Turkey sent the previously-promised 13 tons of medical supplies
  • 3 Jan – Libya sent 30 tons of medical supplies by plane to El-Arish, to be transported to Gaza
  • 3 Jan – Syria sent 230 tons of food and medicine in an 11-truck convoy
  • 2 Jan – Russia sent two planeloads of food, medicine and tents to El-Arish to be transported into Gaza
  • 1 Jan – Sudan Doctors Union sent a convoy of medicine, surgeons, anaesthetists and medics
  • 1 Jan - Greece sent two planes with 28 tons of blood and medical supplies, plus government officials
  • 30 Dec – Spain sent 50 tons of medical supplies on a truck convoy


  • That’s a total of more than 431 tons from international partners (to add to NGOs’ and Israel’s existing 10,000 tons)



  • 30 Dec – Spain pledged $1.5m to provide medical supplies to Gazan hospitals, enough for 4 weeks
  • 1 Jan - WorldVision launches $1m appeal to provide 50,000 most affected in Gaza – click to donate
  • 1 Jan – UAE’s ICRC received 3m dirhams from private iniatives to be used for buying and transporting supplies to Gaza
  • 2 Jan – In response to UNRWA’s appeal, India pledged $1m in general aid
  • 2 Jan – Mercy Corps pledged 4 tons of food basics for a future shipment



  • 3 Jan – Mahmoud Abbas met with Indonesia’s relief team in Amman, ahead of a $585m pledge
  • 2 Jan - 9 Palestinians wounded in the conflict were evacuated to hospitals in Saudi Arabia
  • 30 Dec – Jordan’s King Abdullah encouraged Jordanian aid workers to set up field hospitals


Every little helps...

Daily aid from Jordan

As part of its commitment to a daily aid transfer, Jordan and UNRWA have coordinated a convoy coming through Kerem Shalom today.

Jordan says this will be a 30-day effort – so far they have sent 30 trucks with 525 tons on board.


Queen Rania adds her call

Apologies for the tardiness of this report, but we wanted a good rundown of her words: YNet now covers Jordan’s Queen Rania’s speech calling emotionally for a global stepping-up in aid to Gaza.

IDF spokesperson on BBC News 24: "Food warehouses full to the brim"

Major Avital Leibowitz notes that the problem is not now getting food in, but distributing it – echoing WHO’s statement of a few days ago.

She also claims rocket fire on the crossings is keeping agencies from getting convoys in – we’ll look for more sources on this.

Thick and fast: $10m from Japan

Earmarked for use by Palestinian President Abbas (where’s he been this week? Not on the news) Japan has pledged $10m for humanitarian needs in Gaza.

Interesting to see how and when it gets used – and whether Abbas will acknowledge that this money is transferred either to NGOs or Israel with his sanction.

And 13 tons from Turkey

Half a truckload of medical aid came from Turkey on Saturday – should have gone in with the convoy today.

And a flight from Bahrain

Bahrain sends 80 tons of food and medical aid by air, and has launched a national committee supervised by the Royal Family for the support of the Palestinians.

Oman to send regular planes

Xinhua (via UN’s Reliefweb) carries a report that Oman is intending to bring a plane of aid in the next few days, and then start operating regular aid plane deliveries in line with a directive from the Sultan of Oman.

More details as we get them.

Cause for concern from ICRC

ICRC saying the ongoing situation in Gaza is significantly hindering its hospital evacuation efforts. This is a particular cause for concern since 10 new ambulances arrived in the Strip over the weekend. Click here for their full statement.


... and Saudi donates a further £24m through other charities

Looks like the Two Mosques campaign has captured the imagination – a huge amount of support from across Saudi has led to a $32m total after just a few days.

Saudi prince donates £1.8m to Gaza

Reliefweb notes that Saudi Arabia's Deputy Premier and Minister for Defence, Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has made a donation of SR10m (£1.84m / $2.67m) to the Two Holy Mosques Campaign for Gaza – announced earlier today in support of humanitarian aid for Gazans as well as Palestinians living in Saudi Arabia.

Egypt calls for open humanitarian access

After admitting openly that it won’t open the Rafah crossing until Gaza is under the rule of Fatah, Egypt has called upon the international community to ‘open humanitarian corridors’ and accused the UN of not doing enough to help Gazans.

Lebanon sends medical plane to Jordan

20 tons of medical aid have landed in Jordan ready for transport across the borders into Gaza.

Hopefully they’ll arrive on tomorrow’s convoy (assuming that like today the borders stay open for aid convoys).


Islamic Conference encourages more aid

The Islamic Conference has finished its Extraordinary Meeting in Jeddah and, amongst other conclusions (our bold):

8. Expresses its appreciation for the humanitarian assistance provided by Member States since the beginning of the Israeli aggression, urges all Member States to provide assistance, and requests the Secretary General to keep up his work with Member States, the Islamic Development Bank and private financial institutions to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to Gaza, and reemphasize its support to the Palestinian National Authority and its legal institutions to address the consequences of the Israeli aggression and assist its efforts to reconstruct the damage caused by the Israeli aggression and occupation, and decides to sponsor a donors conference for this purpose


10. Welcomes the opening of the Rafah crossing by Egypt for humanitarian purposes, and took note of its assurances of readiness to work with concerned parties to allow opening of the crossing continuously in accordance with the agreements of November 2005 to realize the interests of the Palestinian people.


Save the Children reporting positively on its efforts

Via Reliefweb: Save the Children has stepped up its relief efforts in Gaza – continuing efforts they have undertaken since at least 2006.

Over the weekend, StC distributed 641 food parcels to 3000 children in 6000 families.

Their $10m fundraising drive continues: click here to donate to Save the Children.

International Medical Corps and Heart-To-Heart ship in medical kits

IMC Worldwide, a Californian charity, has rolled out a corps to Gaza and has launched a drive for cash donations. No more details yet.

European Commission launches €3m drive

Reliefweb carries a European Commission release detailing the use for an expected €3m (£3m / $4.5m) funding campaign: food, shelter and medical support.

This adds to the €73m pledged by the EC in 2008, 56% of which went to Gaza, according to the press release.

Israel opens NGOs special operations room

Livni met with heads of the key NGOs in Tel Aviv to explain what the Israeli government’s going to do to help them coordinate all their efforts in Gaza and remain as informed as possible. According to the press release, the move was welcomed by aid agencies.



Nine days on: Israel aid update

Here’s a link from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs summarizing all the aid that’s gone into Gaza since 27 December:

10,000 tons of humanitarian aid delivered to Gaza throughout the week

226 dual nationals were evacuated from Gaza

2000 units of blood were donated by Jordan

5 ambulances donated by Turkey                            

5 ambulances transferred from the West Bank on behalf of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society

20 people were evacuated to Israel for medical needs, including two injured children.


WFP announces food aid programme

Bizarrely even though the UN’s World Food Programme has been distributing food since at least 2007 – and in practice a lot earlier – they have chosen today to announce the launch of an emergency relief programme to Gaza’s most needy.

First, the good news:

”…on Thursday WFP started an emergency distribution of bread in Beit Hanoun for 3,000 poor families - some 15,000 people who have not previously received WFP food assistance. This area in northern Gaza is one of the poorest and most heavily affected by the recent conflict…”

And then the bad news:

The recent attacks in the Gaza Strip have prevented WFP and its partners from operating at full capacity and have delayed the normal distribution of food to 265,000 non-refugees and vulnerable individuals.”

WFP is also claiming it is out of food, which is a cause for concern. Perhaps it is time that the aid organisations started working more closely with each other:

“WFP has 3,300 tons of food in warehouses which will be drawn down over the next month as food distributions for 265,000 people resume, security permitting. More food convoys to Gaza are planned to replenish stocks for current and new food needs.”


WFP also called for $9m in urgent aid: please click here to donate.


UN OCHA OPT and UNRWA appeals for aid on 5 Jan

The Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has made the following requests for what they see as the most urgent requirements for aid:

Fuel: Industrial fuel is needed to power the Gaza Power Plant, which has been shut down since 30 December. Replacement of ten transformers which were completely damaged is also urgently needed to restore electricity supply to 250,000 people in central and northern Gaza. All water, sanitation and other utilities, which provide basic services to the population, as well as hospitals and the general population are affected by the outages; some areas have now experienced power outages more than 48 hours. Nahal Oz crossing is the only crossing which can facilitate the transfer of sufficient amounts of fuel to restart and maintain operations of the power plant, and restock other types of fuel needed in the Strip. This crossing remains closed. Update: Nahal Oz open today, receiving 200k litres of fuel.

Wheat grain: Essential to provide flour for local bakeries and humanitarian food distribution to the population of Gaza. Karni Crossing conveyor belt is the only mechanism which can facilitate the import of the amount of grain required in the Strip at this time. This crossing remains closed. Update: flour being transferred again through Kerem Shalom today.

Cash: Has still not entered the Gaza Strip and is urgently needed, including for the UNRWA cash distribution program to some 94,000 dependent beneficiaries, as well as its "cash for work" program.

Internal movement within the Gaza Strip: It is essential that patients and ambulances are able to reach hospitals, that agencies are able to access warehouses in order to conduct distributions. Currently movement within the Strip is severely challenged.

ReliefWeb wakes up

Finally ReliefWeb have returned from their break and begun reporting UN OCHA news again.

Today: OCHA’s current situation report in full.
From an aid perspective:

·         An Emergency Operational Room was set up by the PA Ministry of Health (Ramallah) in collaboration with WHO to follow up the health situation in Gaza. The operation room will provide assessments of requirements (pharmaceuticals, consumables, equipments and spare parts), follow up on the response of international community, and address referrals of injured and other patients.

·         UNRWA food distribution was cancelled today [4 Jan] due to Israeli military activity, except in southern Gaza where the situation is calmer

·         WFP was able to distribute bread to 13 hospitals throughout the Gaza Strip today. CHF, one of WFP's main implementing partners, distributed food yesterday in North Gaza but have not been able to distribute today in Khan Yunis due to security reasons and movement restrictions

·         UNRWA has donated 75,000 liters of fuel to CMWU, though only 35,000 liters has so far been distributed due to the fear of moving fuel tanks in the current security situation. The situation remains critical: in northern Gaza, for example, the water and sewage networks have enough fuel to continue operations for 2-3 days only

·         The World Health Organization reports that 105 patients have been transported through Rafah for treatment outside of Gaza [in Egypt and Israel] since the beginning of Israel's military operation on 27 December

·         A number of donor partners have pledged contributions to the Humanitarian Emergency Response Fund (HRF) in recent days. Funds are already being disbursed for urgent projects in the Gaza Strip, including $250,000 to WHO for the procurement of surgical kits, $200,000 to Islamic Relief to provide food and blankets to eight hospitals, and $130,000 to a PARC project to provide Gazans with torches, batteries and dry food


Current urgent requests by UNRWA and OCHA for aid follow…

Hamas, France and EU meeting in Egypt

Update: Sarkozy’s visit will include tripartite meetings with Egypt and Hamas. This is the first time Hamas have come to the table since before the end of the ceasefire; last time Egypt called them they boycotted talks at the last minute. Fingers very crossed.

France sends Sarkozy

President Sarkozy and a pan-EU team now both en route to meet Middle Eastern leaders to discuss ways forward: possibly the highest form of aid there is?

UNRWA on BBC News: two days supplies left

Christopher Gunness just appeared on BBC News saying that Gaza ‘faced a severe hunger’ in the next few days should supplies to UNRWA’s warehouses not increase.


COGAT update: 80 trucks and 200,000 litres of fuel today

Good news:
Kerem Shalom open today after being closed yesterday:
80 trucks of medical supplies and medication including donations from Greece, Jordan and Egypt

More good news:
Nahal Oz (fuel silos) open too:
200,000 litres of fuel going in today for the power station and essential services

Additionally, the remaining ~200 dual nationals are expected to leave voluntarily today. Not sure what happens if they refuse to leave themselves – we assume they’ll be pulled out by the various NGOs for whom most of them are working.

Crossings closed all day

We've heard that in a first since the armed conflict began, all crossings into Israel and Egypt were kept closed today as a result of the ground offensive.

This means no aid went in - although some NGOs are reporting that the problem is now not getting more aid, but distributing it - and no Palestinians came out, either for treatment in hospitals or as part of the exit of foreign nationals. Fingers crossed for better news tomorrow.

Oxfam aid worker blog

Another aid worker, based in Gaza with Oxfam, is blogging about their work - thanks to Ken in comments for highlighting this.

COGAT update: 4 January


Slightly thinner on the ground in terms of statistics than previous days, but as a summary 28 Dec-2 Jan, COGAT are reporting the following as a summary:

10,000 tons of humanitarian aid delivered to Gaza throughout the week
226 Dual nationals were evacuated from Gaza
2000 – Blood units were donated by Jordan.
5 ambulances donated by Turkey
5 ambulances transferred from the West Bank on behalf of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society
20 people evacuated to Israel for medical needs, including two injured children.

More up-to-date figures as we get them.