Report: Despite Terror Attacks, Israel Aids Gaza's Citizens
The IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in Judea and Samaria, Major General Eitan Dangot, revealed last week that more than 60 rockets and mortar shells out of 460 rockets and mortar shells fired in the past year at the northern Negev from the Gaza Strip, were aimed directly at the land crossings from Israel into Gaza.
Dangot made the comments during a briefing to foreign reporters in Jerusalem, in which he explained how Israel assists Gaza’s citizens. He said that Israel has invested over 50 million shekels in renovating and increasing the capacity of the Kerem Shalom crossing, the crossing through which most of the goods enter Gaza.
Dangot presented to the foreign journalists a long list of relief measures taken by Israel to help the Gaza Strip since the Cabinet decision of June 2010, in which it was decided to increase the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Strip.
Among the measures taken were: increasing the number of trucks that transport goods into the Gaza Strip, renovating the land crossings into Gaza and increasing the range of goods allowed into the Strip, approving extensive projects in Gaza funded by members of the international community, increasing the export of agricultural produce from Gaza, and increasing the amount of entry and exit permits from Gaza into Israel for Gaza’s residents.
Dangot’s comments are in line with an illustrative video released by the IDF spokesperson’s office last week. The video details the amount of goods Israel transfers to the inhabitants of Gaza on any given week. This includes 6,000 tons of goods (around 260 truckloads) which are transferred into Gaza on a daily basis. The products transferred into the Strip include baby food, poultry, vegetables, construction materials, and other miscellaneous goods such as medicine, clothing, electrical equipment and hygiene products.
Major General Dangot noted further that Israel even regularly transfers luxuries into the Strip, including LCD screens, luxury cars such as Mercedes and Hyundai jeeps, modern refrigerators, and whirlpool bathtubs. He emphasized that these goods enter Gaza daily and are not part of any special one-time deliveries.
He also emphasized that the civilian policy toward Gaza shows Israel’s humanitarian efforts and said that as such, there is absolutely no humanitarian crisis in Gaza, a fact which is often claimed by the Hamas terror group, as well as by the organizers of the Freedom Flotilla 2.
He added that Israel’s policy towards Gaza’s population has led to an improvement in the Gaza Strip and has resulted in an increase in the living standards there. He added that evidence shows that there has been an increase of 15% in the GDP in the Gaza Strip, and an increase of approximately 11% in the GDP per capita.
Major General Dangot stressed that Israel has allowed for this aid to enter the Strip despite the continued terrorist attacks originating in Gaza towards communities in southern Israel.