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Assistance to the Palestinians during the December storm

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Assistance to the Palestinians during

theDecember storm

from Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dec. 18, 2013

This past weekend (December 11-14), an intense winter storm hit the region. Israel, Gaza and the West Bank all suffered from severe infrastructural problems, flooding and other severe, weather-related events. The IDF and COGAT have worked to provide assistance to civilians in need wherever possible.

Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories
Ministry of Defense, State of Israel

The Gaza Strip

  • Approximately 100 Palestinians have sustained injuries as a result of the weather, 4 of whom suffered serious injuries.
  • Widespread power outages have been experienced throughout the Gaza Strip for more than 24 hours.
  • Approximately 1,000 living structures have sustained serious damage.
  • 760 families have been evacuated from their residences to 17 schools and other public structures throughout the Gaza Strip.
  • 70 tunnels have collapsed as a result of the weather conditions.
  • Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have expressed their gratitude regarding Israeli assistance.

The West Bank

  • Widespread blockages of roads (including 60, 443, 35), mainly in Judea, Binyamin and Nablus.
  • Power outages throughout Tulkarem, Qalqiliyah, Nablus, Bethlehem and Ramallah.
  • The water supply to the Governmental Hospital in Ramallah has been cut off as a result of the power outages.
  • Several buildings have collapsed in Hebron City and the Jerusalem Periphery as a result of the weather conditions, no injuries were sustained.

Assistance to the Palestinian Population

Cogat is ready to provide assistance to organizations wishing to transfer aid and supplies to Gaza.

  • Kerem Shalom was opened specially on Friday (13 Dec) to allow 5 tankers containing 110 tons of cooking gas to enter the Gaza Strip.
  • Also on Friday, four water pumps, belonging to Mekorot, the Israeli water company, entered the Gaza Strip and are currently being operated in Rafah, Sheikh Reduan and Khan Younis.
  • On Sunday (15 Dec) Kerem Shalom commercial crossing was open for the first time ever for human passage. 16 people entered Gaza including international aid workers and medical patients returning from treatment in Israel. Two individuals also entered Israel through the crossing. Additionally, two ambulance transfers took place at the crossing.
  • Also on Sunday, large volumes of fuel and supplies entered Gaza through Kerem Shalom including:
  • * 241 tons of cooking gas.
    * 223,000 liters of Benzene.
    * 763,000 liters of diesel fuel.
    * Two trucks of emergency supplies donated by the ICRC.
    *148 trucks of consumer goods.
  • UNRWA and the WFP have been distributing emergency supplies (including food rations) throughout the Gaza Strip. Mercy Corps is readying emergency supplies for displaced families throughout the Gaza Strip.
  • UNRWA has supplied an additional 10,000 liters of diesel to ensure the continued operation of water pumps.

The West Bank

Measures taken by the IDF and Cogat to assist the civilian population and mitigate damages from the storm include:

  • Assistance in fixing power outages around the West Bank in cooperation with the Israeli Electrical Company.
  • On Friday (13 Dec), numerous Palestinians trapped in their cars around the Migdalim Intersection (Nablus) were rescued by the IDF.
  • On Saturday (14 Dec), the IDF assisted in an extraction of an on-duty Palestinian ambulance trapped by weather conditions near Ofrah (Ramallah) by the IDF. Alsoon Saturday, the IDF provided aid in the evacuation of three pregnant Palestinian women stuck on Rd. 35 (Hebron), even offering a helicopter for the evacuation of one of the women who had entered into labor.
  • On Sunday (15 Dec), the snow-covered access road to the Nebi-Samuel village was cleared by IDF Vehicles. Soldiers and officers from COGAT’s Jerusalem Periphary District Coordination and Liaison unit distributed food rations and supplies to the residents.
  • Assistance to many Palestinians stranded in their cars in the Ramallah district, as well as the opening of the Courthouse Crossing 24 hours a day in order to allow passage for humanitarian cases

Click here for article and photos

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