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Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
18 April 2008
The first two days of March saw the intensification of ongoing Israeli army air and ground operations throughout the Gaza Strip. The Israeli code-named ‘Hot Winter’ operation which took place in northern and eastern Gaza between 28 February and 2 March resulted in a total of 107 killed and 250 injured. This was one of the most violent incursions in Gaza since the granting of limited autonomy to Gaza in 1994.
The Gaza Strip remains closed to the outside world, with the exception of limited humanitarian imports and the movement of a small number of international visitors, patients and Israeli-approved Palestinians. Fuel shortages have begun to have a more profound effect on all aspects of life in Gaza, as private reserves have been depleted and the needs of the harvest and fishing season have increased demand. In March, the supply of diesel and gasoline by Israel was 57% and 80% less, respectively, compared to one year ago. The limited supply led to diesel and gasoline selling for 48% and 70% more on the black market compared to the regular market
(1) 18 IDF soldiers injured in Gaza; 9 civilians injured in Israel by rockets or live ammunition
(2) All IDF soldiers killed in Gaza
A total of 347 rockets and 234 mortars were fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel and Israeli soldiers operating in Gaza. The Israeli air force conducted 91 air strikes on different targets within the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli army conducted 12 searches and arrested 36 people.
During the ‘Hot Winter’ incursion, 34 children lost a parent. Twenty-one homes were completely destroyed, leaving 147 people homeless. Eighty-eight homes were severely or partially damaged, affecting an additional 616 people.
Availability of medical supplies at Ministry of Health (MoH) facilities: 55 of the 416 essential drugs (13.2%) and 142 of the 596 essential medical supplies (23.8%) were at zero availability in March due to the lack of financial resources.
A total of 257 patients were evacuated through the Rafah border crossing between 1-12 March.
Of the 1,036 patients who applied for permission to cross Erez either to Israeli or West Bank hospitals, 683 (65.9%) were approved, 33 (3.2%) were rejected and 320 (30.9%) were delayed.
Following the complicated referral process, four patients died in March after being denied permits to cross Erez: a 12-month-old female with liver disease died on 2 March; a 54-year-old male with lung cancer died on 14 March; a 48-year-old male with cardiac problems died on 20 March; and a 58-year-old woman with liver cancer died on 22 March.
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