Markets are filled in Gaza, say Arab media
Markets are filled in Gaza, say Arab media Israel news photo: (Arabic media website)

Shipments of humanitarian aid to Gaza rose by 28 percent in 2009, despite claims by Hamas terrorists who rule the region that Israel’s blockade has caused unbearable hardships to its Palestinian Authority residents.


A spokesman for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) told reporters a conference was held last week, of all the large international organizations operating in Gaza, to discuss goals for 2010. The conference was held under the auspices of the Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA).


According to the data released, international organizations were more active in Gaza during 2009 than in previous years, despite the complex security situation during and following the IDF’s counterterrorist Operation Cast Lead.


COGAT noted a 125 percent increase in the number of foreign nationals crossing into Gaza last year, in a total of 400 delegations of foreign officials. These included activists and diplomats who entered the region in coordination with the Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration. In addition, humanitarian aid shipments trucked in through the Kerem Shalom and Sufa Crossings increased by 28 percent, it was reported at the conference.


‘Spirit of Cooperation Eases Life under Terror’

IDF Col. Moshe Levy, who commands the CLA, told conference participants that the cooperation between the international aid organizations and the CLA has eased life for PA Arabs who are living “under a regime of terror.”


Participants were provided with information about COGAT and CLA activities during Operation Cast Lead, including data that detailed how the IDF agencies met the needs of the international aid organizations.


“Because of the cooperation and support provided by international organizations, there is a wide and varied supply of food and medicine in Gaza, a fact well established in official reports by United Nations personnel,” Levy said. He added that COGAT and the Gaza CLA “understand the importance of the work of the international organizations in Gaza, and maintain close, continuous contact with them on a daily basis to provide the best response to their needs.”


During Operation Cast Lead, there were approximately 1,600 cases in which the Gaza CLA coordinated evacuation of residents from combat areas. Casualties were evacuated via international organizations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).  In addition, 1,400 truckloads of humanitarian supplies were delivered to Gaza from Israel via the various crossings during the fighting, all of which were coordinated by the Gaza CLA and supplied by international aid organizations.