No Food Shortage Foreseen in Gaza
A humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip is not likely, following the closing of the crossings into Israel, IDF sources said yesterday, as the Karni crossing had operated continuously since September until last week, and large quantities of essential food supplies had crossed into the Gaza Strip.
Military sources did warn, however, that following the closing of the crossings, local traders may create an artificial crisis by reporting shortages, in order to sell their stocks at a later stage when its value will increase.
Yesterday, 11 crates of medicines, anesthetics, disinfectants and bandaging materials were delivered to the Red Cross in the Gaza Strip. The transfer of the medical equipment was carried out through the Erez crossing. No vehicles crossed the crossing, and the transfer was done by hand.
The Red Cross is expected to bring in a truckload of medical supplies in the coming days, which will be delivered to the hospitals in Gaza.
Some fuel supplies were also delivered yesterday, including approximately 550,000 liters of diesel, 200,000 liters of gasoline and 200 tons of butane gas.
Colonel Nir Peres, in charge of the liaison operations at the Erez crossing, met yesterday with Red Cross representatives to discuss the immediate needs of the residents of the Gaza Strip.
“They said that there is no urgent need for equipment or food,” Col. Peres said. “Later in the week, depending on the needs, we will coordinate the crossing of trucks into the Strip at one of the crossing points.”
Meanwhile, Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann supports the crossing of Palestinian refugees from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank because of the threat posed by Hamas to their physical security.
In a statement issued yesterday, Friedmann said that “it is appropriate to allow the Gaza residents wishing to escape the threat posed by Hamas terrorism and occupation, to cross to the territory of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. The state of Israel needs to ease their crossing, as long as these are not Hamas people, or who pose a threat to our security.”
However, Friedmann’s stance was countered by Almagor, an organization representing victims of terrorism in Israel, which issued a statement that “the prime minister and defense minister should not accept the proposal of the minister of justice. Friedmann forgets that we are not in Switzerland, which can allow itself such humanitarian gestures to terrorists.”