Ongoing updates on the situation in Gaza: Activity at the crossings and tunnels, prices and shortages

Updates for November 20, 2012 as of 5pm
*Information will be updated as it becomes available

Erez
Erez has remained open for limited travel of foreign journalists, foreign workers at international organizations, critical medical patients and Palestinian citizens of Israel returning to Israel. The crossing closed today at 1pm. Eight medical patients and their eight companions exited Gaza, as did 17 foreign nationals (journalists and staff of international organizations) and four Palestinian residents who traveled to the West Bank.

Kerem Shalom
*Please note that Gisha counts Palestinian truckloads, which can, in general, accommodate larger quantities than Israeli trucks arriving to Kerem Shalom. This explains the discrepancy between our data and that provided by others.
Kerem Shalom Crossing was open for a number of hours this morning. Before it was closed, 23 trucks entered the Strip including agricultural products, food and animal feed, one truckload carrying 22 tons of cooking gas and two trucks of benzene for UNRWA. COGAT is reporting that 43 trucks entered before the closure of the crossing. It’s not clear to us why the discrepancy in the number, but we will continue trying to verify and will update as needed.

For reference, since the start of 2012, on an average day, between 200-300 truckloads entered Gaza via Kerem Shalom.

Shortages
Cooking gas
Two days ago approximately 85 tons of cooking gas entered Gaza via Kerem Shalom, which were distributed in the center and south of the Strip, however shortages remain throughout the territory. Today 220 tons of cooking gas (approximately 10 truckloads) were to enter, but due to the closure of Kerem Shalom only one truck was able to enter.

Diesel and benzene
Since Monday, 550,000 liters of diesel and 300,000 liters of benzene entered the Strip. Some of the diesel which entered is being used by the power plant in Gaza to produce electricity. According to the Gas Station Owners’ Union, of the 133 gas stations in Gaza, very few have fuel to sell.

Updates for November 20, 2012 as of 14:50pm
*Information will be updated as it becomes available

Erez
Erez Crossing closed today at 1pm. Eight medical patients and their eight companions exited Gaza, as did 17 foreign nationals (journalists and staff of international organizations) and four Palestinian residents who traveled to the West Bank.

Updates for November 20, 2012 as of 12:40pm

Kerem Shalom
Kerem Shalom crossing was open today for passage of goods but after a number of truckloads entered, it was closed due to rocket fire nearby.

Updates for November 19, 2012 as of 5pm

Erez
Erez Crossing Erez has remained open for limited travel of foreign journalists, foreign workers at international organizations, critical medical patients and Palestinian citizens of Israel returning to Israel. The crossing was open today until just before 3pm. Twenty-two medical patients and their companions, 8 foreign nationals, 14 citizens of Israel, 1 resident of Gaza and 1 resident of the West Bank who had been visiting in Gaza and returned home to the West Bank crossed at Erez.

Kerem Shalom
*Please note that Gisha counts Palestinian truckloads, which can, in general, accommodate larger quantities than Israeli trucks arriving to Kerem Shalom. This explains the discrepancy between our data and that provided by others.
Kerem Shalom Crossing is closed today to passage of goods. Yesterday approximately 80 truckloads of goods entered Gaza: 7 truckloads of humanitarian aid, 8 truckloads of medicine and medical supplies, 58 truckloads for the private sector, including of basic food products, and 7 truckloads of agricultural products. In addition, 85 tons of cooking gas entered the Strip. In the afternoon, rockets fell nearby to the crossing.

For reference, since the start of 2012, on an average day, between 200-300 truckloads entered Gaza via Kerem Shalom.

Rafah
Rafah Crossing is operating during regular working hours (9am-5pm) and at all hours for emergencies.
Since Thursday and until yesterday, an average of 725 individuals exited Gaza for Egypt per day. The following are daily figures:

Thursday: 828 exited Gaza, 653 entered Gaza
Friday: 351 exited, 339 entered
Saturday: 829 exited, 415 entered
Sunday: 892 exited, 401 entered

For reference, over the past several months, on an average day, approximately 1,500 people entered and left the Strip via Egypt.

Infrastructure
Electricity
As of last night, the Gaza Power Plant had 500,000 liters of diesel in reserve. It’s not clear if and when the plant will be able to obtain more diesel for its operations. Yesterday the plant received 200,000 liters, but over the past few days, supply has been inconsistent and has varied according to the situation at the tunnels. The quantity of fuel at the plant will allow it to produce 80 megawatts (MW) of electricity for one day. Over the past few days, the plant has been partially operating two turbines to produce 30-35 MW. Demand for electricity in the Gaza Strip stands at 350 MW. Israel sells 120 MW of electricity to Gaza and Egypt sells 27 MW, such that with these three sources of power, only 50% of demand is met.

Aerial strikes have caused damage to electricity infrastructure in various areas of the Strip, specifically damage to electricity lines and transformers. The emergency staff of the electricity distribution company in Gaza have repaired some of the damage. One of the electricity lines from Israel, which provides 12 MW of power to the Khan Younis area, was downed on Friday, exacerbating the overall shortage. Until now, the electricity distribution company has not received coordination clearance from Israel in order to reach the border area where the damage took place and fix the line. In addition, lines in the A-Shujaya area east of Gaza City have collapsed.

Water and sewage
Regarding damage to water and sewage infrastructure in the Strip, information is incomplete because of the difficulties in gathering data in the field. Damage at two sites has been confirmed: one water storage facility, supplying Khan Younis, which holds 350 cubic meters of water (1 cubic meter = 1,000 liters) and one facility which was under construction and was to hold 3,000 cubic meters of water.

Update for November 19, 2012 as of 14:48pm

Kerem Shalom
*Please note that Gisha counts Palestinian truckloads, which can, in general, accommodate larger quantities than Israeli trucks arriving to Kerem Shalom. This explains the discrepancy between our data and that provided by others.
Kerem Shalom Crossing is closed today to passage of goods. Yesterday approximately 80 truckloads of goods entered Gaza: 7 truckloads of humanitarian aid, 8 truckloads of medicine and medical supplies, 58 truckloads for the private sector, including of basic food products, and 7 truckloads of agricultural products. In addition, 85 tons of cooking gas entered the Strip. In the afternoon, rockets fell nearby to the crossing.

Erez
Erez Crossing will be open today until 3:30pm. Until now 21 medical patients and their companions, 7 foreign nationals, 14 citizens of Israel, 1 resident of Gaza and 1 resident of the West Bank who had been visiting in Gaza and returned home to the West Bank crossed at Erez.

Update for November 19, 2012 as of 14:15pm

Kerem Shalom Crossing is closed today to passage of goods. Yesterday at 2pm rockets fell nearby the crossing, without causing any damage.

 
Updates for November 18, 2012 as of 5pm
Erez
Erez has remained open for limited travel of foreign journalists, foreign workers at international organizations, critical medical patients and Palestinian citizens of Israel returning to Israel. There have been reports of delays on the Palestinian side of the crossing. COGAT reports (Hebrew) that 23 foreigners crossed today. Sources in Gaza report that an additional seven individuals crossed, bringing the total to 30 foreigners and that 26 people, medical patients and their companions, also crossed today.
 
Kerem Shalom
Kerem Shalom was opened today for the first time since Thursday for passage of food, medical supplies and cooking gas.
 
About 66 truckloads of goods entered Gaza via Kerem Shalom, including truckloads of food and medical supplies ordered by the private sector and goods brought in by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Palestinian Ministry of Health, United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and the World Food Programme (WFP). Approximately 30% of the goods which entered were for international organizations and 70% were ordered by the private sector.
 
For reference, since the start of 2012, on an average day, between 200-300 truckloads entered Gaza via Kerem Shalom.
 
Rafah
Rafah Crossing is operating during regular working hours (9am-5pm) and at all hours for emergencies. On Thursday and Friday, 1,179 people crossed into Egypt from Gaza and 992 entered Gaza from Egypt. Numbers for Saturday and Sunday will be updated when available.
 
Ambulances are on standby on the Egyptian side of the crossing. Since Saturday, 15 people crossed for medical treatment, including seven wounded in hostilities and eight other patients referred by the Ministry of Health for medical treatment in Egypt. Others may have crossed to obtain privately-funded treatment. More wounded were expected to cross today.
 
For reference, over the past several months, on an average day, approximately 1,500 people entered and left the Strip via Egypt.
 
Prices and shortages
UNRWA reported yesterday that prices of fruits and vegetables have risen slightly, though prices of food in stores remain unchanged. Cooking gas shortages have also been reported.
 
Tunnels
The tunnels are mostly not operational, aside from tunnels bringing in fuel (as fuel is piped in and does not require workers entering the tunnels). On Friday, it’s estimated that 250,000 liters of benzene and diesel entered Gaza. On Saturday, approximately 700,000 liters of benzene and diesel entered. Today, approximately 500,000 liters of benzene and diesel entered.