Gaza – ICRC Bulletin No. 12 / 2006
27-10-2006 Operational Update
Latest report on ICRC activities in the field
The Gaza Strip remained tense over the past week. Inter-Palestinian clashes in the northern Strip and Israeli military operations in the north and south continued to affect the Palestinian population, while rockets launched into Israel injured four civilians.
The lack of cash income for civil servants and farmers continues to seriously affect Gaza's economy.
Passage into and out of Gaza remains at times impossible for both people and goods despite recent easing at certain border crossings. Access to the sea remains a problem during this first part of the sardine season, which is a major source of income for Gaza fishermen.
ICRC and Red Cross / Red Crescent activities
The ICRC helped transfer a ventilator into the Gaza Strip for Shifa hospital. ICRC medical staff met with hospital administrators throughout the Strip to discuss the availability of supplies, the needs of patients and other matters.
The ICRC continues to facilitate the movements of Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) ambulances during military operations, as well as the evacuation of patients requiring treatment outside the Gaza Strip. It supports PRCS emergency medical services, hospitals and primary health-care centres as well as facilitating the delivery of essential medical supplies.
In the past week, the ICRC distributed household relief kits to 26 families in Rafah and in northern Gaza whose houses had been des troyed during Israeli military operations. The kits contained tarpaulins, mattresses, blankets and other essential household items. Since late August, 323 families have received such aid from the ICRC.
Delegates also distributed ad hoc emergency aid in the form of food parcels and hygiene kits to four families.
The ICRC's family-visit programme for Palestinian detainees held in Israeli prisons resumed for the Gaza Strip on August 13. In the period from 15 to 19 October, 212 family members visited 93 detainees in eight places of detention in Israel.
The ICRC maintains its contacts with authorities and with various Palestinian groups and constantly reiterates its desire to gain access to the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Through these contacts and its public statements, 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.
ICRC Facts and Figures
Since the end of June, the ICRC has:
- installed 14 generators donated by the Norwegian Red Cross to ensure a continuous electricity supply for water and waste-water pumping stations as well as a limb-fitting centre
- provided 150,000 litres of fuel for generators at pumping stations and facilities such as the limb-fitting centre
- installed water tanks to enable 56,000 litres of drinking water per month to be distributed where the Israel Defense Forces had destroyed existing distribution systems
- distributed tarpaulins, mattresses, blankets and other essential household items including tents (when required) to 501 families whose houses had been destroyed or damaged
- provided 839 families with parcels containing sufficient food for one month as well as hygiene items
- organized the delivery of six emergency surgical kits donated by the Swiss Red Cross to the PRCS, each containing supplies sufficient to treat 100 patients hospitalized because of wounds from weapons
- provided three similar kits to medical facilities throughout 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
- since the resumption of the family-visit programme on 13 August, enabled 2,922 people from the Gaza Strip to visit relatives (1,339 in all) being held in Israeli places of detention.
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
Caspar Landolt, ICRC Jerusalem, tel: +972 2 582 88 45 or + 972 57 773 52 35