Humanitarian Assistance to Gaza Continues, Blair Wants More
(IsraelNN.com) Humanitarian assistance continues to flow into Gaza and Palestinian Authority Arabs from the region continue to be let in to pre-1967 Israel for hospitalization and medical treatment, despite claims by PA terrorists to the contrary.
Quartet Middle East envoy Tony Blair is in the region and met Wednesday with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to discuss the PA claims and is hoping to persuade Israel to re-open the crossings, which were closed in response to terror and other security threats.
Nonetheless, the closings have not prevented the flow of humanitarian aid to the region, nor has it stopped Gaza residents with serious medical problems from coming to hospitals in pre-1967 Israel for treatment.
The IDF Spokesperson's Office has documented that 86 Gaza residents were admitted to pre-1967 Israeli hospitals so far this week and approximately 154 trucks of foodstuffs and other supplies were delivered into the region through the crossings.
Last week, 25 Gaza residents crossed into pre-1967 Israel for medical treatment in Israel's hospitals. A total of 392 trucks delivered foodstuffs, medical and other humanitarian supplies through the crossings into Gaza as well, on three separate days.
Humanitarian Assistance So Far This Week
Deliveries to Gaza this week included various edible and other humanitarian supplies.
On March 11
154 trucks delivered foodstuffs and other supplies through the crossings as follows:
Sufa Crossing: 72 trucks containing:
medicine, meat, meat preservatives, fish, fruit, bananas, onion, garlic, frozen vegetables, rice, dairy products, powdered milk, eggs, tea, coffee, salt, sugar, oil, yeast, flour, margarine, plastic bags, hypochlorite, toilet paper and diapers.
Karni Crossing: 61 trucks containing:
Wheat, grains, corn, soy and peas.
Kerem Shalom Crossing: 21 trucks containing:
Tea, margarine, oil and diapers as well as 14 trucks of flour and sugar that were donated by Egypt.
The assistance was organized in cooperation with the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.
Humanitarian Assistance Last Week
Deliveries of humanitarian assistance to Gaza through the crossings were as follows:
On March 6
162 trucks delivered supplies to Gaza through the crossings:
63 trucks containing: flour, sugar, cooking oil, fruit, frozen meat and fish
Kerem Shalom Crossing:
19 trucks (donated by Egypt) delivered to Gaza: rice, sugar, dairy products and oil
80 trucks containing: grain
On March 5
69 trucks transferred supplies through the crossings as follows:
63 trucks bearing: oxygen masks, baby formula, flour, coffee, sugar, fruit and humus (chickpea paste)
Kerem Shalom Crossing:
6 trucks carrying: beans, tomato sauce, flour and oil.
On March 4
161 trucks delivered humanitarian aid and supplies as follows:
12 trucks containing medication and medical supplies (including one truck of supplies donated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA); it is notable that on at least one occasion, a UNRWA shipment marked as humanitarian aid was found upon inspection to contain bomb-making supplies instead.
9 truckloads of meat, fish and frozen vegetables
8 truckloads of fruit
7 truckloads of flour, sugar and oil
5 truckloads of dairy products
18 truckloads of flour, oil and humus donated by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO)
Kerem Shalom Crossing:
8 truckloads loaded with sugar
2 truckloads of rice
4 truckloads of oil
4 truckloads of rice and oil
4 truckloads of rice and sugar
80 truckloads of grains
Blair: Humanitarian Aid Not Enough, 'Open the Crossings'
Despite the above and numerous past shipments of medical supplies and equipment, foodstuffs and other humanitarian assistance in the past weeks and months, the Quartet's Middle East envoy arrived in Jerusalem Wednesday with demands on Israel to re-open the Gaza crossings.
The crossings were closed in response to numerous terror warnings as well as constant mortar, missile and rocket attacks on Jewish communities in the western Negev, including the besieged city of Sderot and the coastal city of Ashkelon, further north.
Israel also allowed passage by doctors, lawyers, teachers and medical patients in and out of pre-1967 Israel from the Palestinian Authority-controlled areas despite a closure following the slaughter of eight young students at a Jerusalem yeshiva by a local Israeli Arab terrorist, as it has during each closure in the past.
Blair's meeting Wednesday with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert came one day after an Iranian-made GRAD missile slammed into the port city of Ashkelon, albeit causing no injuries or damage. The envoy met the same day with PA Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas and other PA officials in Ramallah. Blair said following the talks "We have to get a lifting of access and movement restrictions."
The former British Prime Minister also called for a "different and better" strategy for Gaza, based on economic aid for public works projects. "We should be doing everything we can to help the people in Gaza without helping those who are launching rockets on Israel and doing their best to undermine the [negotiating] process," he said.
Rocket launchers and terrorists firing the missiles are embedded among civilians in densely populated areas in Gaza, making it extremely difficult to differentiate between the two.