Gaza - ICRC Bulletin No. 09 / 2006
05-10-2006 Operational Update
Latest report on ICRC activities in the field
A series of demonstrations, together with growing tensions between Hamas and Fatah supporters, culminated on Sunday October 1 in armed clashes between their respective security forces on the streets of Gaza City and Khan Younis. The fighting left six people dead, including three civilians, and 133 injured. Violent incidents were also reported in the West Bank, in Nablus and Ramallah.
In several parts of the Gaza Strip, short incursions by Israeli military forces continued throughout last week on an almost daily basis, levelling agricultural land and destroying houses. Six houses were also destroyed by air attacks. In one incident, a 13-year-old girl was killed and 14 other people injured.
Rockets from inside the Gaza Strip continue to fall on Israeli territory, threatening civilian lives and property. In the past week, a 76-year-old woman and an 11-year-old boy were injured.
The Gaza Strip remains largely closed. After a three-day opening the previous week, the Rafah border crossing was once again closed. The Sufa crossing point for humanitarian assistance and trade was also closed. The Karni cargo terminal for imports and exports remained closed for most of the week because of a strike by Palestinian employees, who have not been paid for several months. The Erez crossing point is open only for humanitarian cases and staff of international organizations. Access to the sea for fishermen remains prohibited.
ICRC and Red Cross/Red Crescent activities
During the past week, the ICRC distributed household relief kits to 35 families in the Rafah and Shoka areas whose houses had been destroyed. The kits contained tarpaulins, mattresses, blankets and other essential household items. Since late August, 266 families have received such assistance from the ICRC.
The ICRC also distributed ad hoc emergency assistance in the form of food parcels and hygiene kits to 29 families in the Khan Younis district in the last week of September.
The ICRC organized the transportation from Ramallah to Gaza of laboratory equipment and supplies to allow the local water authority to monitor the output of its waste-water treatment plants.
The ICRC continues to facilitate the movements of Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) ambulances, despite military operations, together with the evacuation of patients requiring treatment outside the Gaza Strip. The organization is supporting PRCS emergency medical services, hospitals and primary health care centres, and is also facilitating the delivery of essential medical supplies.
The ICRC's family visit programme for Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons resumed on August 13 in the Gaza Strip. From 25 to 28 September, 209 family members were able to visit 109 detainees in 12 different Israeli places of detention.
The ICRC maintains its contacts with the authorities and with various Palestinian groups, and constantly reiterates its desire to gain access to captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Through these contacts and publicly, the ICRC urges those holding the soldier to treat him humanely, to respect his life and dignity and to allow him to communicate with his family.
Facts and figures
Since the end of June, the ICRC has:
installed fourteen generators donated by the Norwegian Red Cross, to ensure continuous electricity for water stations, waste-water pumping stations and a limb-fitting centre;
provided 150,000 litres of fuel for generators at pumping stations and facilities such as the limb-fitting centre;
set up water reservoirs to allow the distribution of 56,000 litres of water per month, where incursions have destroyed normal water distribution systems;
distributed tarpaulins, mattresses, blankets and other essential household items (including tents when required), to 444 families whose houses were destroyed or damaged;
provided 804 families with parcels containing sufficient food for one month, together with hygiene items;
organized the delivery of six emergency health kits donated by the Swiss Red Cross to the PRCS; each kit contains sufficient supplies to treat 100 patients hospitalized because of weapon wounds;
provided three similar kits to medical facilities in the Gaza Strip;
transferred 15 ICRC dressing kits (each with material for 50 dressings) to Gaza for rapid distribution if required;
provided advanced training on conflict related emergencies for 17 surgeons in Gaza City and map reading courses for PRCS emergency staff;
enabled 2,513 family members from the Gaza Strip to visit 1,141 detainees in Israeli places of detention since the resumption of the family visit programme on August 13.
For further information, please contact:
Dorothea Krimitsas, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 25 90 or +41 79 251 93 18
Bana Sayeh, ICRC Jerusalem, tel: +972 2 582 88 45 or +972 57 880 91 93
Bernard Barrett, ICRC Jerusalem, tel: +972 2 582 88 45