To claim, as Omer does, that Israel has withheld food, water and medical supplies for over two years is patently ridiculous; if the Gazans had been cut off from food, water and medical supplies for this amount of time, they could not have survived. It is surprising that the New Statesman could have allowed such an absurd allegation to have been published. Where does Omer think the Gazans are obtaining these basic necessities? In fact, Israel has continued to pump into Gaza ~ 5 million-cubic-meters of water per year for Palestian use via the Kissufim pipeline. And despite the occasional closing of its border with Gaza, Israel has been transferring humanitarian supplies--food and medical aid--to Gazans. The United Nation's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) provides reports of what humanitarian aid is coming in to the Gaza Strip. According to the July 6-13, 2007 OCHA report, "humanitarian and commercial imports (through Kerem Shalom and Sufa) into the Gaza Strip continued to meet most of the basic food needs of the population, despite difficulties encountered at the crossings." Below are two examples recording the trucking of supplies into Gaza from Israel--the first from July 2007, and the second from the first week of March 2008:
The following supplies were transferred from Israel into Gaza through the Sufa, Kerem Shalom and Erez Crossings, with the coordination of the Gaza District Coordination and Liaison Office:
676 tons of sugar
637 tons of straw
375 tons of animal feed
191 tons of fruits
159 tons of salt
116,000 liters of cooking oil
79 tons of bananas
71,000 liters of milk
36 tons of rice
36 tons of tea
33 tons of meat
21,000 liters of hypochlorite (a water purifier)
20 tons of coffee
20 tons of cocoa
14 tons of milk powder
5 tons of medical equipment for babies and 10 tons of diapers
4 tons of fertilized eggs
5kg of medical equipment and 8433 vaccines
A total of approximately 2,500 tons and 78,000 liters of the following products: 556 tons animal feed, 530 tons straw, 360 tons sugar, 264 tons flour (and an additional 47 tons of flour for merchants), 205 tons salt, 78,000 liters oil, 61 tons spices, 48 tons rice, 49 tons halva, 39 tons bananas, 54 tons jam, 23 tons carrots, 30 tons barley, 29 tons humus, 40 tons corn, 20 tons hypochlorite, 14 tons canned meat, 6.5 tons tea, 100 tons powdered milk (donated by UNRWA).
Kerem Shalom crossing:
Twenty trucks carrying summer fruits, milk products, baby diapers, meat, medical supplies, fertilized eggs and oil.
Approximately 2,400 tons of products: 423 tons of animal feed, 505 tons of straw, 321 tons of sugar, 354 tons of flour, 74 tons of salt, 28 tons of spices, 28 tons of pasta, 14 tons of canned food, 29 tons of tomato sauce, 26 tons of fine flour, 24 tons of tuna, 27 tons of peanuts, 14 tons of jam, 13 tons of cooking oil, 7 tons of hyssop, 22 tons of canned full, 7 tons of raspberry juice powder.
Kerem Shalom crossing:
Approximately 350 tons of products and 5 truckloads of equipment: 22 tons of medicine and powdered milk, 40 tons of frozen meat, 66 tons of dairy products, 59 tons of meat, 5 tons of fertilized eggs, 115 tons of fruit, 42 tons of bananas, 2 truckloads of disposable diapers and 3 truckloads of medicine and medical equipment.
Sufa Crossing - Approximately 8880 tons food, medical supplies, dairy products, flour, sugar, reproductive eggs, rice, cooking oil, straw and animal feed, raw food materials and construction supplies.
Kerem Shalom Crossing - Approximately 1050 tons of food, medical supplies, dairy products, meat products, fruit, cooking oil and reproductive eggs.
Karni Crossing - Approximately 4180 tons of wheat seed.
Approximately 5411 tons of medical supplies, medicine, pasta, fruit, fish, dairy products, flour, sugar, meat, rice, cooking oil, straw, seedlings, spices, candy, diapers, oxygen balloons, water pumps, electricity transformers, generators and construction supplies.
March 2, 2008
Sufa Crossing - 55 trucks of humanitarian aid and supplieswere unloaded.
In addition, 918,000 liters (19 tankers) of fuels and 169 tons of heating gas (7 tankers) were transported through the Nahal Oz Crossing.
March 3, 2008
Sufa Crossing - 60 trucks were unloaded.
Karni Crossing conveyer - 76 trucks were unloaded (2,700 tons of wheat and animal feed)
In addition, 1,014 liters (21 tankers) of fuels and 300 tons of heating gas (7 tankers) were transported through the Nahal Oz Crossing.
March 5, 2008
63 trucks passed through the Sufa Crossing containing: fruit, sugar, humus, flour, coffee, baby formula and oxygen masks.
6 trucks passed through the Kerem Shalom crossing containing: oil, flour, beans and tomato sauce.
In addition, 25 Palestinians entered Israel for medical treatment in Israeli hospitals.
March 6, 2008
63 trucks passed through Sufa Crossing containing: flour, fruit, sugar, cooking oil, frozen meat and fish.
19 trucks (donated by Egypt) passed through Kerem Shalom Crossing containing: rice, sugar, oil and dairy products.
Approximately 80 trucks passed through the Karni Crossing containing grain.
March 7, 2008
Sufa Crossing - 30 trucks were unloaded.
Kerem Shalom Crossing - 8 trucks were unloaded.
In addition, 225 tons of heating gas (10 tankers) were transported through the Nahal Oz Crossing.
While Israeli closures (as a result of rocket fire and violence emanating from Gaza) may cause inconvenience and difficulties, it is an absurd falsehood to claim that Israel has withheld water, food and medicine for 25 months.