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Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
3 April 2008
Following Israel's complete closure of the Gaza Strip crossings in January, restrictions on the movement of commodities into Gaza continued. Fuel supplies to the Gaza power plant were restricted to 2.2 million liters per week. The plant's production was reduced to 55 megawatts (full capacity: 80 megawatts), causing daily eight-hour power cuts everywhere in Gaza except for Rafah, which receives its power from Egypt. Queues for diesel and petrol became a regular occurrence as the supply of diesel and petrol were restricted to 700,000 liters and 70,000 liters per week respectively for the entire Gaza Strip. The distribution of fuel was further complicated by protests by the Association of Gazan Gas Station Owners. Hostilities in February were limited, except for a surge at the end of February which continued into March.
A total of 207 rockets and 243 mortars were fired from Gaza towards Israel and IDF installations in Gaza. The IAF conducted 26 airstrikes on different targets in the Gaza Strip.
The IDF conducted a total of 9 searches and 121 arrests in Gaza.
On 15 February, a massive explosion of a disputed nature in Al Bureij camp killed eight people and injured 80. The dead included five children and one woman, while 20 children and 23 women were seriously injured. A total of 39 houses were severely damaged and another 300 were damaged.
* Including 17 children and nine women
** Israeli civilian killed by a rocket on Sderot.
Hospitals and Primary Health Care (PHC) clinics in Gaza had to limit their services to emergency interventions due to the power cuts and shortage of fuel for emergency generators and vehicles. The Gaza European Hospital suspended all elective surgical operations during the month of February. In addition, 32 out of the Gaza's 56 Ministry of Health (MoH) PHC clinics suspended diagnostic and dental services for the duration of the power cuts (all month).
Of the 841 patients who applied for permits to cross Erez for medical treatment outside of Gaza, 22 (2.6%) had their applications denied and 155 (18.4%) had their applications delayed for more than 14 days.
Of the 664 (80%) patients who were granted permits during February to cross Erez, 15 patients were interrogated by the Israeli authorities at Erez checkpoint. Five out of the 15 patients were denied permission to cross and had to return to Gaza.
As a result of the complicated referral process, four patients died in February after being denied permits to cross Erez: a 65 year-old female with cardiac problems died on 10 February; a 53 year-old female suffering from renal problems died on 11 February; a 77 year-old female with neck cancer died on 11 February; and a 34 yearold female who had suffered from a stroke died on 11 February.
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