- January 22, 2008
Authorities Stop Medical Convoy Heading to Gaza
Israel resumed fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip”s main power plant on Tuesday, offering limited respite from a punishing blockade against citizens in the Hamas-run territory, Gaza Strip, amid mounting international fears of a humanitarian crisis.
Today morning has witnessed the first time supplies entering Gaza since late on Thursday, when Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister, ordered the strip sealed off as two lorries carrying cooking gas and three with diesel for generators passed today through the Nahal Oz border crossing, east of Gaza City.
The Israeli defence minister had ordered the easing of the blockade late on Monday, however, the Egyptian authorities have prevented delivering a medical convoy sent by the Union of Arab Doctors and the Humanitarian Aid Commission today morning.
The Egyptian authorities said that delivering such medical supplies
to Gaza Strip are conditioned by the approval of the Israeli administration.
On the other hand, Dr. Abdul-Qader Higazy, chief of the Humanitarian Aid Commission in Egypt, said,
â€œThe Israeli administration must approve to end the siege lifted on Gaza Strip.â€
Adding that the recent statements by the Israeli defence minister late on Monday have given the commission a ray of hope that the food and medical supplies would pass through Rafah border crossing to reach Palestinians in Gaza Strip.
â€œHoweverâ€ he said, â€œHundreds of protesters from the Gaza side stormed Rafah today morning demanding the reopening of the border crossing, which has been closed for most of the time since June. They were confronted by Egyptian Security Forces and gunfire was heard clearly.â€
Dr. Abdul-Qader said that they left all medical supplies in the commissionâ€™s store in Areesh, a governorate near Rafah border crossing, hoping that President â€œHosni Mubarakâ€ would be able to send such supplies to Gaza Strip to help Palestinians suffering in Gaza as he helped Palestinian pilgrims some days earlier.
Itâ€™s noteworthy that the Commissionâ€™s medical convoy included a 350,000 Egyptian pounds medicines and other supplies needed for medical operations.
With Gaza crossings closed and fuel for generators slowly running out, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) warned that hospitals in the territory only had a few days” worth of fuel to run their generators.