Surf's Up

It’s become almost common knowledge that on any given day, anywhere from 40-50 million liters of untreated or partially treated sewage flow from Gaza’s sewage treatment plants into the Mediterranean Sea, and an additional 20 million liters seep into the ground, threatening other water sources. The treatment plants, due to crossings policies blocking supply of fuel and spare parts, intermittent electricity supply, and years of de-development, are struggling to treat 70 million liters of sewage produced by Gaza’s 1.5 million residents each day. Continue reading

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Goods – Needs Vs. Supply – Nov 8 – Dec 5

Source: PalTrade, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Coordination Committee in Gaza Annual graph and background information»

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Running Out of Gas

The severe shortage of cooking gas in the Gaza Strip has attracted scant media and public attention over the past two months. Generally, since the closure was imposed in 2007, the average monthly amount of cooking gas that Israel allows into the Strip has met only 56% of needs in Gaza. Continue reading

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Is Increased Aid to Gaza Good News?

Last week Israel proudly boasted of a sharp increase in the transfer of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. This announcement coincided with the publication of a statement of concern by the European Union regarding the humanitarian situation in Gaza, noting that there has been no improvement since January 2009, when the war ended. Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure, Movement of goods into Gaza | 8 Comments

Who Has the Right to a Notebook?

This week the Israeli Foreign Ministry boasted that Israel has allowed “a large quantity of educational tools such as notebooks, backpacks, writing tools, and textbooks” into the Gaza Strip in the last month. The Foreign Ministry wrote that: “Through COGAT and the Gaza DCL, Israel makes great efforts to provide for the humanitarian needs of the Gaza Strip, and for this reason the recent transfer was facilitated at the request of the organization [UNRWA].” Continue reading

Posted in Movement of goods into Gaza | 4 Comments

A Storm in Gaza

The first storm of the winter hit Israel last week. Following a long period of drought, the plentiful downpour was greeted with joy, even though the stormy weather predictably caused flooding and damage. The rain and strong winds also hit Gaza, where residents found that they are particularly vulnerable in stormy weather. Continue reading

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The Dangers of Music, According to Israel

Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai’s response to a query submitted by MK Dov Khenin in July regarding the ban on importing musical instruments into Gaza was recently published. In his (surprising) answer, the deputy minister claimed that: “According to the information available, no applications to bring musical instruments into the Gaza Strip have been received for the past two years.” Continue reading

Posted in Movement of goods into Gaza | 3 Comments

Can Gaza’s Stagnant Economy be “Reactivated”?

Amr Hamad, Deputy Director of the Palestinian Federation of Industries, came to Ramallah from the Gaza Strip last week to help assess the damage to the business sector in Gaza as a result of the last war. He told a Gisha representative that the European Union is considering compensating factories, business facilities and other institutions for the damages they sustained, estimated at $45 million (U.S.). EU representatives apparently understand the problematic nature of a situation where European tax-payers are to be sent the bill for damages caused by the Israeli army, and they have decided not to call it compensation, but rather a “business reactivation” plan. Continue reading

Posted in economic development, Infrastructure | 1 Comment

A Non-Economy

Perhaps the Israeli business sector understands something that Israeli politicians simply don’t comprehend – that the Palestinian economy in Gaza, which has collapsed due the 27-month-long closure imposed by Israel, has changed beyond recognition: hundreds of tunnels are currently operational in the Strip (between 600 and 1,000) and thousands of people are risking their lives to work in them. These tunnels are supplying about two-thirds of the goods required by the residents of the Gaza Strip. Thousands of dollars in permit fees and millions of dollars in taxes are being collected by the Hamas government. Continue reading

Posted in Movement of goods into Gaza | 2 Comments

Are The Last Gates to Gaza Being Nailed Shut?

According to Palestinian officials, last month Israel mounted three attempts to transport industrial diesel into the Gaza Strip via the Kerem Shalom border crossing. Previously, Nahal Oz has been the only crossing designed and equipped for the transfer of fuels and gas to Gaza. The reports that Israel intends to close down the Nahal Oz crossing completely follow a gradual slowdown of operations at the terminal, which now operates only three days a week. Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure, Movement of goods into Gaza | 4 Comments