Saturday, November 15, 2008

As the quarter closes, Israel maintains its ban on all Gaza imports including fuel, medicine, basic foodstuffs, and currency for banks. As a result, 1.5 m. Gazans are without regular electricity, no Gazan households have daily running water (20% of households receive 6 hrs. of water/5 days, 40% receive 6 hrs. water/4 days, 40% receive 6 hrs. water/3 days), bread is being rationed due to lack of grain, and shortages of milk, red meat, and fresh produce are widespread. UNICEF reports that the Israeli government has been holding 2 shipments of vaccines for Gazan children at Ben-Gurion airport since 10/29. The WHO reports that the stock of 95 of 473 drugs it classifies as “essential” for hospitals and clinics to have on hand and 174 other medical supplies are at zero levels in the Strip. UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon calls on Israel to open crossings into Gaza for fuel, food, and humanitarian aid, stating that measures that increase the suffering of Gaza’s civilians “are unacceptable and should cease immediately.” The UN reports that Palestinians have fired some 140 rockets and mortars toward Israel since 11/4, injuring 1 Israeli and causing property damage in 1 incident on 11/14. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin town and r.c. (WT 11/15, 11/16; OCHA 11/17, 11/19; PCHR 11/20)