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Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
17 July 2008
The Humanitarian Monitor
occupied Palestinian territory
Overview- Key Issues
Update on Gaza
On 19 June, a six-month ceasefire agreement took effect between Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the Government of Israel. The terms were not officially published, however, it was reported that the ceasefire would entail a suspension of hostilities from both sides and an Israeli commitment to gradually relax access restrictions on goods and people.
Reduction in casualties
The total number of Palestinians killed by the IDF in the Gaza Strip (26) declined in June compared to May (41). All fatalities occurred before the ceasefire agreement came into effect. Among these fatalities were two children, compared to six in May. An additional 41 Palestinians, including five children, were injured in June.
One Israeli civilian was killed and 15 were injured, including 14 civilians and one IDF soldier, by rockets and mortars fired by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip into Israel.
Fuel crisis: Increased imports but needs still unmet
Fuel imports (including benzene, diesel and industrial gasoline) into the Gaza Strip increased by almost one-quarter in June compared to May (from 11.4 million litres in May to 14.1 million litres in June). However, this amount constituted approximately 54% of Gaza’s monthly requirements (about 26 million litres). The amount of cooking gas entering Gaza in June (three million litres) increased by only 0.5% compared to May, and constitutes about 40% of the monthly needs.
With the increase in fuel supply, MoH (Ministry of Health) hospitals have resumed elective surgeries, except for the Gaza European Hospital, which continued to suspend half of its elective surgeries.
(See the Health Section for more details)
The CMWU (Coastal Municipalities Water Utility) received 70,000 litres of diesel in June, which constituted only 40% of its monthly fuel requirement. None of the three wastewater treatment plants across the Gaza Strip was able to function entirely, forcing the CMWU to continue dumping about 70,000 cubic metres (m3) of raw and partially treated sewage into the Mediterranean Sea each day. The MoH and WHO
collected 30 seawater samples along the Gaza Strip coast, 11 of which were identified as polluted.
(See the Water and Sanitation section for more details)
Movement of commodities
The number of truckloads allowed into Gaza (2,103) increased by about 15% compared to May 2008 (1,821). Commodities transported through Karni Crossing conveyer belt were limited to grain and animal fodder.
This increase is mainly due to the increase in the number of goods and fuel truckloads allowed into Gaza through the Karni, Sufa and Nahal Oz Crossings during the ten days following the ceasefire announcement on 19 June. Compared to the first 19 days of June - the period before ceasefire came into effect - the daily average number of truckloads passing through the Sufa and Karni Crossings increased by about 43% (from 47 to 67) and by 56% (from 52 to 81) respectively. The Kerem Shalom Crossing has remained closed for commercial goods since 19 April. Despite the overall increase, the number of truckloads allowed into Gaza in June represents only 17% of the truckloads, which entered Gaza in May 2007,1 before the Hamas takeover (12,378). No exports have been allowed since December 2007.
(See the Access section for more details)
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