COGAT update 16 January


Just as Katya Adler on the BBC reports that the borders have been ‘mostly closed’, COGAT releases details of the aid that’s entered Gaza over from the Israeli border crossings of Kerem Shalom, Karni and Nahal Oz over the past two days:


3790 tons of aid on 174 trucks (104 on 14/1; 69 on 15/1)

Of these:
95 from private-sector donations
39 from UNRWA
22 from Jordan
6 from the West Bank and Israeli Arab NGOs
6 from ICRC
1 from Mercy Corps
1 from WHO

108,000 litres of diesel transferred directly to the power station

And Nahal Oz is full – no more fuel can be transferred into Gaza until it’s picked up by the NGOs responsible for its distribution across Gaza


That takes the total aid transferred via Israeli crossings since 28/12 to

29,112 tons of aid on 1,202 trucks
1,436,350 litres of fuel

You can watch the aid going in live here.

New aid appeals announced this week


A number of international aid agencies have launched or renewed their calls for funding in the past few days:

·         WHO’s Operational Plan calls for $13m for urgent medical needs

·         OCHA oPt’s Consolidated Appeal has been uprated from $462m to $529m for emergency and ongoing support

·         PAMA, the Palestinian Monetary Authority, calls for $62.9m to pay civil salaries and supplier invoices

·         OCHA, UNRWA, WHO and WFP note the following as the most urgent needs: protection for civilians and aid workers, access (sustained re-opening of borders), electricity/fuel, wheat grain for bread, and cash.


So far OCHA estimates they have $73m of the $529m they now need – please donate to the UNRWA’s Flash Appeal.

Lots of info from OCHA

OCHA’s field update has the following information to tell us about the 12th and 13th January deliveries:

·         12 Jan – Karni open – 27 trucks (part of 3129 tons). Oops, ignore what we said earlier about it not being open since 27 Nov.

·         13 Jan – Kerem Shalom open - 94 trucks (2310 tons of aid) including 50 trucks for NGOs

·         13 Jan – Nahal Oz open - 200,000 litres of industrial fuel

·         13 Jan – Rafah open – 21 medical cases treated in Egypt

·         13 Jan – Rafah open – 10 trucks (c. 250 tons), 17 doctors, 7 ambulances into Gaza from Egypt

·         13 Jan – JHCC agrees to upgrade aid deliveries to 150 trucks per day

·         14 Jan – Nahal Oz, Karni closed, no data on Rafah, Kerem Shalom open


Plus, on food distribution:

·         One million fifty thousand (1,050,000) people continue to rely on UN food assistance, though insecurity is constraining people from accessing what food is available, both in shops and through food distribution points.

·         On 13 January UNRWA provided food parcels to 2,156 households and distributed flour to 2,276 people

·         WFP also distributed 61 metric tones of food to approximately 1,000 households in Gaza city through its partner, CHF International

·         Due to limited fuel and water resources, WFP is prioritizing distributions of ready-to-eat consumables.


And on medical evacuations:

·         As of 11 January, 70 patients were cleared for evacuation to Egypt through Rafah but remain in Gaza due to the slow flow of evacuations at the crossing (but see above for a chink of light)

·         Outstanding urgent medical needs include medical equipment for intensive care units and orthopaedic material


And on the water sanitation issue in Beit Lahiya:

·         … As of 13 January, UNRWA was unable to deliver fuel for pumps to the Beit Lahia Wastewater Treatment Plant to alleviate pressure at the treatment plant

·         … On 13 January, CMWU received four truckloads of spare parts form the Palestinian Water Authority in the West Bank to assist with repairs

Egypt's First Lady calls for an emergency coordination committee

OCHA reports that Egyptian First Lady – who is also the president of the Egyptialn Red Crescent – has proposed that Egypt form an aid coordination committee (possibly like Israel’s JHCC).

The Committee would have bases in Cairo and in Al Arish, with the objective helping to channel assistance to Gaza. It will include the Palestinian Red Crescent (PRCS), ERCS and UN agencies.

Frustration at aid workers growing on Israeli side too

COGAT reports that despite what they see as their best efforts, some of their hard work in facilitating safe corridors is going to waste. For instance, they note that a group from the Joint Humanitarian Coordination Centre share this story:

The JHCC visitors learned that often problems are caused due to lack of organization on the part of Palestinian contractors. For example, for three days the IDF suspended operations in order to enable an ICRC convoy to escort Palestinian technicians to repair the pump of the Beit Lahiya sewage facility. For the first two days the technicians didn't arrive and today when they did arrive they didn’t have the proper vehicles and implements to carry out the task. 

Free psychological counselling phone lines open for Gazans

IRIN reports that a large number of NGOs and aid agencies are opening phone lines for Gazan residents to call for free psychological support.

Sawa, a Ramallah-based Palestinian organisation, says their line is receiving 200-250 calls a day and their 14 staff are working around the clock.
Sawa’s number is +972 (0)2 58 222 11.

UNICEF, Shatil, CLEC and the WHO are also all operating phone lines for Gazans and southern Israelis.


COGAT: 4 hour daily ceasefire from today

From today, apparently, the 3 hour ceasefire will become a 4 hour ceasefire so that more aid can get through.

And in an update to last week’s in-depth report on the electricity situation:

·         Electricity grid has now been repaired

·         Power in Gaza is now at 74% (from 40% this time last week) – that means far fewer rolling blackouts. IDF credits ICRC and the Palestinian Energy Authority staff for helping them to coordinate the repairs


Karni conveyor is open today – expected to bring grain, food and other basic supplies in.

We think this is the first time Karni has opened for transfer of aid since November 27.

Nahal Oz fuel silos are open today – expected to fill up with fuel for infrastructure and public services                              

And Kerem Shalom is open today – expected to see another 100-plus trucks, twice that being provided before the corridor opened


More details as we get them.

Chris Gunness appeals for sand

Apparently the flames won’t go out at the UN using conventional fire extinguishers – so if anyone nearby has sand to douse the flames they would greatly appreciate assistance.

Now back to the aid

Qatar has just announced a massive $250m for Gaza rebuilding.

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani called on Thursday for Arab countries to create a fund for Gaza's reconstruction following 20 days of Israeli shelling that has left much of the Gaza Strip in ruins.

Sheikh Hamad pledged his country would contribute 250 million dollars to the fund.

Qatar is the only Arab Gulf country to maintain commercial ties with Israel, while Egypt, Jordan and Mauritania are the only Arab countries that have diplomatic ties with the Jewish state.

Sheikh Hamad also suggested the creation of a "maritime bridge" to transfer humanitarian aid to the battered territory.

"We have not called a summit to prepare Arab armies for a war against Israel," Sheikh Hamad said in his address. "We are not dreaming," he added.

UN suspends operations in Gaza

No surprises there.

UN Secretary General and Israeli defence man Ehud Barak

From BBC live feed and now AP wire:
Secretary General: ‘Strong protest and outrage’ in firing on HQ
Ehud Barak: ‘[Israel made] a grave mistake’

2 journalists in the building also wounded in the shelling.

Next steps: what happens after Gaza?

Haaretz this morning runs an article about what Israel is planning to do once the offensive finishes.

They mention, amongst the expected and inevitable flood of information, that Herzog – the Israeli government’s newly-appointed shuttle diplomat – is already up and running in liaising with governments and NGOs to build bridges and forge alliances:


Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has appointed Social Affairs Minister Isaac Herzog as government coordinator between Israeli and Palestinian aid agencies.


Wednesday, Herzog convened the first meeting in his new capacity with representatives of the Foreign Ministry, other government ministries and the IDF. Today he will meet with the secretary general of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, and the head of the International Red Cross, to hear their requests on humanitarian issues.


Plus – a drop-in at the end – the Palestinian Health Authority has granted tentative approval for upping the number of Gaza casualties being treated in Israel. Hopefully we’ll see positive stats on this very soon.

UN HQ in Gaza hit by fire

AFP and BBC are reporting that the UN HQ in Gaza has been hit 3 times and is on fire. Chris Gunness says a number of recently-received aid truckloads within the building have been lost. More soon.

PM Olmert appoints Minister Herzog to coordinate aid to Gaza



In an effort to increase humanitarian efforts in Gaza PM Olmert nominated yesterday the Minister for Welfare and Social Services Isaac Herzog for the role of coordinating Israel’s aid to Gaza. Minister Herzog will liaise between government institutions and international organisations to manage the humanitarian issue.

Please bear with us

Frustratingly, we’ve been having some problems since the 9th January posting to the blog. We’ll update and fill in the missing details as soon as we can.

Rest assured that behind the headlines there is some good news including:

And from COGAT's updates:

  • 2,310 tons of aid transferred on 13/1/09
  • 3,129 tons of aid transferred on 12/1/09
  • 3,339 tons of aid transferred on 10/1/09 and 11/1/09

We'll update with full details as soon as we can. Comment if you need specific information!

Live feed from Kerem Shalom crossing


We’ll try to keep this on top somehow – watch the convoys of aid and all the goings-on at the Kerem Shalom crossing from your desktop.

The left-hand camera is on the Gaza side; the right-hand camera is on the Israel side.

Here's a capture of the Gaza camera at the moment (12:55 Gaza time): empty trucks ready to pick up aid.

For useful reference, there’s also a useful map on the OCHA oPt website which shows the location of all the crossings.