Response to report by human rights organizations on humanitarian situation in Gaza
Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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 Response to report by human rights organizations on humanitarian situation in Gaza

3/6/2008

 

(Communicated by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories)

Hamas responsibility

The Gaza Strip was taken over violently and illegally by the Hamas terror organization. All possible existing humanitarian allocations are utilized by Hamas. Hamas takes advantage of the humanitarian crossings, using them to send terrorists to attack Israeli civilians, while at the same time targeting the very crossings that enable the entrance of humanitarian aid for the Palestinian population in Gaza.   

Despite this, Israel remains committed to the humanitarian effort in the Gaza Strip, and acts accordingly.

Primary responsibility for all occurrences inside the Gaza Strip since the Israeli withdrawal and dismantling of all settlements there is the Hamas terror organization, which should answer to criticism.

Shortage of medications

At the request of the international community, 84 donations were authorized since the beginning of the year. Hamas takes control of these donations and instead of transferring them to hospitals as intended, transfers them to its institutions for its own purposes.  

To date, no medicines or medical equipment have been refused entry to the Gaza Strip. On the contrary, all medical supplies are given priority. The State of Israel is not responsible for the funding of medical supplies in the Gaza Strip.


Electricity

The supply of electricity to the Gaza Strip was not reduced. The breakdown of supply of electric current shows the opposite to be true:

From Egypt:   17   MW
Gaza power plant:  60   MW
From Israel:   214 MW

Israel assisted with the transfer of transformers for the power plant into Gaza, and with the entrance of foreign technicians for maintenance work on other transformers.

Only two weeks ago, the power grid in Gaza was repaired. Everything connected to it, such as pumping stations and sewage pumps, were in working order. The repairs were carried out under Hamas sniper fire, which necessitated use of protected vehicles and working at night.

Fuel

The fuel issue is also the responsibility of the Hamas. It is unclear why the Hamas does not divert the fuel entering the Strip for use by ambulances, water pumps and other humanitarian requirements. The amount of fuel entering the Strip is sufficient for all humanitarian needs, and has the full support of the Supreme Court. Current data clearly shows that that the quantity transferred exceeds basic needs by a factor of 3:1.

The transfer of fuel is also done under fire. Only three days ago (Monday, 3 March 2008), a fuel truck coming from Nahal Oz to the Strip was targeted by snipers.

The only logical conclusion to this is that the Hamas is diverting the fuel entering the Gaza Strip for its own use and for terrorism.

Sewage

Israel invests a great deal of effort in transferring cement and pipes for rehabilitation and development of the sewage system in the Gaza Strip. The Hamas, on the other hand, takes these materials and uses them to manufacture Kassam rockets.

Health

Israel continues to allow the entrance of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip into Israel to undergo treatment at Israeli hospitals. During 2007, 14,000 Palestinian patients and their escorts entered Israel for medical treatment. This amount constitutes 90% of all requests for medical treatment, each of which is checked in its own right.

This issue is also exploited by Hamas members, who attempt to gain entrance to Israel, ostensibly to receive medical treatment but actually to carry out a terror attack against Israeli civilians.

Summary

There is no other country in the world whose border crossings, used by diplomats, NGO employees and for the transfer of medical supplies and equipment, food and other goods for the civilian population, are constantly under fire.  Despite this, Israel continues to allow the flow and transfer of aid.

The international community should point the accusing finger at the party responsible for the shooting at the crossings, the Hamas terror organization. It is unfortunate that they continue to target the crossing, whose only purpose is to channel the humanitarian aid to the population in the Gaza Strip.


 

 
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