Humanitarian Aid Continues to Flow Into Gaza Via Israel
Gaza continues to receive hundreds of tons of humanitarian goods via Israel's land crossings each month -- even as de facto Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh allocates thousands of dollars to pay rewards to freed terrorist murderers and grants them holidays at a luxury hotel.
Despite indications from the United Nations that there is no longer a "humanitarian crisis" in Gaza, according to the IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (CoGAT), the region continues to receive monthly shipments of goods, including in September, when 4,945 trucks carrying 136,785 tons of goods entered Gaza through the Kerem Shalom Crossing.
It was close to that crossing that IDF soldier Gilad Shalit was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists on June 25, 2006 in a raid that severely wounded a fellow soldier and killed two others, and through that same crossing that Shalit last week returned to Israel -- not entirely healthy, but free.
The prisoner swap that finally freed the kidnapped soldier cost Israel 1,027 terrorist inmates -- 477 of whom were released in the first phase -- in a deal celebrated throughout the Arab world. Of those, 131 were sent to Gaza, many of whom were treated to a stay in a five-star luxury hotel, paid for by Gaza's Hamas government. In addition, each terrorist was to receive a gift of $2,000 as a reward.
Of the trucks, 1,728 were carrying food, 54 were carrying clothes, 66 were carrying electrical equipment and 22 were carrying sports equipment, vehicles, washing machines and refrigerators. Some 2,575 tons of cooking gas was transported into the region as well.
In addition, 3,045 Palestinian Authority Arab residents of Gaza entered Israel last month via the Erez Crossing with the assistance of CoGAT, including 1,522 people who entered to receive medical care at Israeli hospitals.
During September, 1,455 PA Arab business people left Gaza, and an additional 57 international activists entered the region.
"The Coordinator of Government Acctivities in the Territories makes such efforts on a daily basis, assisting in matters of health, education, agriculture and infrastructure," said the IDF Spokesperson.
The CoGAT unit is responsible for transportation of aid into Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and works together with the Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA) of Gaza, as well as with the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria.