Pandemic, terror, and elections don’t stop tens of thousands of tons of humanitarian aid from rolling out of Israel into Gaza non-stop.
It’s not on anybody’s radar these days, but the Israelis responsible for supplying Gaza with humanitarian aid quietly let it be known that while Gaza’s roughly two million residents suffer under the iron-fisted military rule of the Hamas terror group, Israel has continued supplying them with millions of tons of humanitarian aid.
The Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) unit of the IDF is responsible for implementing and coordinating the civil and humanitarian policy in Judea and Samaria and handling contacts with the the Gaza Strip. COGAT coordinates the activities of Israeli government ministries and the IDF in relation to the Palestinian population with what in calls “an emphasis on the civilian components.”
Every week COGAT publishes statistics for the humanitarian aid that flows from Israel into Gaza daily via the Kerem Shalom border crossing near the southern end of the Gaza-Israel border. This week was no exception, even with worldwide attention focused on the U.S. elections and the recent historic news of Israel’s American-brokered peace treaties with the UAE and Bahrain.
COGAT announced that in the final week of October 2, 291 transport trucks went from Israel to Gaza carrying 69,063 tons of goods and equipment. As well, the fuel transfer station at the crossing sent 3.5 million liters (about 875,000 gallons) of fuel and diesel to Gaza along with 130 tons of cooking gas.
Those massive shipments also lay bare the propaganda lie by pro-Palestinian groups that Gaza is “under siege” of the joint Israeli-Egyptian blockade that tries to block the flow of weapons to Hamas.
Kerem Shalom operates five days a week, which means that last week an average of more than 450 transport trucks daily crossed into Gaza with humanitarian aid, including food, medicines and medical equipment, clothing and construction supplies.
At one point the UN accused Hamas of “stealing from their own people and adding to the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza” by diverting some of the aid, especially concrete that is seized by Hamas to build military tunnels instead of building Palestinian homes.
As well, hundreds of tons of commercial goods also flow in and out of Gaza via Kerem Shalom, including agricultural goods like strawberries that the Gazans export to Gulf countries, including the UAE and Qatar.
Israel’s efforts to get the aid to Gaza sometimes go beyond the headlines. The Palestinians were enraged over the summer when the Emiratis, before the peace treaty, sent a planeload of humanitarian aid for Gaza via Ben Gurion Airport. The Palestinian Authority and Hamas both swore they’d never touch the goods, but the MITVIM think tank in Ramat Gan reported later that “the Emirati equipment and medicine appear to have found their way to Gaza – with Israeli assistance, of course.”