(THE ISRAEL PROJECT)
1. Humanitarian Aid
- In 2009, more than 738,000 tons of food and supplies entered Gaza. Pictures in local newspapers show local markets aplenty with fruit, vegetables, cheese, spices, bread and meat to feed 1.4 million Gazans. The total amount of aid transferred from Israel to Gaza in 2009 increased by 180 percent, compared to the amount transferred 2008.
- From Jan – May 8, 2010, 230,690 tons of humanitarian aid was transferred from Israel into Gaza through the Israel-Gaza goods crossings. This included medical supplies, milk powder and baby food, meat, chicken, fish, grains, legumes, oil, flour, salt, sugar, fresh vegetables and dairy products as well as animal feed, hygiene products and clothes.
- At holiday times, Israel increases transfers. During the Muslim holy days of Ramadan and Eid al-Adha, Israel shipped some 11,000 head of cattle into Gaza.
2. Maintaining Medical Aid for All in Need
The Medical Corridor:
- In 2009 alone, 10,544 patients and their companions left the Gaza Strip for medical treatment in Israel. Moreover, there were 382 emergency evacuations from Gaza for medical purposes.
- The Hadassah Medical Organization in Jerusalem donates $3 million in aid annually to treat Palestinians in Israel.
- Following fears of a swine flu outbreak, three Israeli hospitals were assigned to treat cases in the Gaza Strip and 44,500 immunizations were transferred to the Strip.
- Since 2005, Palestinians exploited medical care arrangements more than 20 times to carry out terror attacks.
- In 2009, some 4,883 tons of medical equipment and medicine were brought in.
- In the first quarter of 2010, Israel shipped 152 trucks of medical supplies and equipment into Gaza.
- In 2009, Israel coordinated the transfer of medical supplies for the disabled including wheelchairs, crutches and first aid kits. Other equipment shipped to Gaza includes heart-monitors, baby feeding tubes, dental equipment, medical books, ambulance emergency equipment, artificial limbs and infant sleeping bags.
4. Quality of Life in Gaza
- Projected life expectancy in the Gaza Strip (2010) is 73.86, greater than Estonia, Malaysia, Jamaica and Bulgaria.
- The infant mortality rate in Gaza is 17.71 per 1000, better than that of China, Jordan, Lebanon and Thailand.
- Israel transfers school equipment supplied by UNRWA including notebooks, school bags, writing implements and textbooks.
- Israel is currently coordinating the transfer of 200,000 laptops for Gaza schoolchildren.
- In the first quarter of 2010, Israel transferred 250 trucks with equipment for the UNWRA summer camp, including arts-and-crafts equipment, swimming pools, inflatable toys, ice cream machines, musical instruments, clothing, sports equipment.
3. Building for the Future: Infrastructure and Economic Aid
- While the import of cement and iron has been restricted into Gaza since these are used by the Hamas to cast rockets and bunkers, monitored imports of truckloads of cement, iron, and building supplies such as wood and windows are regularly coordinated with international parties. Already in the first quarter of 2010, 23 tons of iron and 25 tons of cement were transferred to the Gaza Strip.
- On 13 May 2010, Israel allowed approximately 39 tons of building material into Gaza to help rebuild a damaged hospital. The construction material for al Quds hospital was transferred after safeguards in place and French assurances ensured that the construction material would not be diverted elsewhere.
- On 24 May 2010, Israel opened Kerem crossing to 97 trucks loaded with aid and goods, including six trucks holding 250 tons of cement and one truck loaded with five tons of iron for projects executed and operated by UNRWA.
- As noted by a UN report of May 2010, 120 Megawatts (over 70 percent) of the Strips’ electricity supply comes from the Israeli electric grid, while 17 MWs come from Egypt and 30 MWs are produced by the Gaza city power station. Since January 2010, there has been deterioration in the supply of electricity to the Gaza Strip since the Hamas regime is unwilling to purchase the fuel to run the Gaza City power station.
- Throughout 2009, Israel transferred 41 trucks of equipment for the maintenance of Gaza’s electricity grid.
- Israel facilitates the transfer of fuel through the border, and maintains that the diversion of fuel from domestic power generators to other uses is wholly a Hamas decision. Over 133 million liters of fuel entered Gaza from Israel over the last 18 months.
- During the first quarter of 2010, the UN coordinated with Israel the transfer of equipment for UNWRA to upgrade the sewage pumping station. In 2009, 127 trucks containing more than 3,000 tons of hypochlorite entered the Gaza Strip for water purification purposes. Moreover, 48 trucks of equipment for improving the sanitation infrastructure led to a substantial reduction in the Beit Lahya facility’s waste levels.
- Primary exports from Gaza are cut flowers and citrus, with trade partners being Israel, Egypt and the West Bank. During 2009, 7.5 million tons of flowers and 54 tons of strawberries were exported from Gaza with Israeli cooperation.
- In 2009, 1.1 billion shekels (about $250 million) was transferred to the Gaza Strip for the ongoing activity of international organizations and to pay the salaries of Palestinian Authority workers.