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Cablegate: Humanitarian Situation in Beit Hanoun

VZCZCXYZ0001
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHJMA #4772 3131436
ZNR UUUUU ZZH ZUI RUEWMCF1366 3131441
O 091436Z NOV 06
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0000
INFO ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

UNCLAS JERUSALEM 004772

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE; NEA/IPA FOR
WILLIAMS/SHAMPAINE/STEINGER; PRM FOR PDAS GREENE AND
PRM/ANE; NSC FOR ABRAMS/DORAN/WATERS; TREASURY FOR
SZUBIN/LOEFFLER/NUGENT/HIRSON; BRUSSELS FOR LERNER; PLEASE
PASS TO USAID FOR KUNDER/MCCLOUD/BORODIN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM EAID ECON KWBG
SUBJECT: HUMANITARIAN SITUATION IN BEIT HANOUN

REF: JERUSALEM 04756

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: DURING THE IDF'S NOVEMBER 1-8 INCURSION
INTO BEIT HANOUN (SEE REFTEL), THE AREA'S WATER AND
ELECTRICITY INFRASTRUCTURE WAS DAMAGED AND AN IDF-IMPOSED
CURFEW ON RESIDENTS PREVENTED THEM FROM OBTAINING ADDITIONAL
SUPPLIES. DURING THE INCURSION, THE IDF GRANTED ACCESS TO
BEIT HANOUN FOR THREE MAJOR HUMANITARIAN CONVOYS, INCLUDING
UN AGENCIES AND THE ICRC, WHICH DELIVERED WATER, FOOD,
GASOLINE AND HEALTH CARE SUPPLIES TO THE RESIDENTS OF BEIT
HANOUN. OCHA ESTIMATED NOVEMBER 9 THAT WATER AND ELECTRICITY
NETWORKS IN BEIT HANOUN SHOULD BE REPAIRED BY NOVEMBER 11.
END SUMMARY.

ELECTRICITY
-----------

2. (SBU) DURING THE IDF INCURSION NOVEMBER 1-8, USAID
GAZA-BASED STAFF REPORTED THAT HALF OF BEIT HANOUN'S
POPULATION WAS WITHOUT ELECTRICITY DUE TO DAMAGE TO
ELECTRICAL PYLONS AND THE ELECTRICITY NETWORK IN MULTIPLE
LOCATIONS. ACCORDING TO A NOVEMBER 9 OCHA REPORT, ICRC
FACILITATED THE PASSAGE OF ENGINEERS FROM THE GAZA
ELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTION COMPANY (GEDCO) INTO BEIT HANOUN
NOVEMBER 2 TO CONDUCT REPAIRS, RESTORING 40 PERCENT OF THE
NETWORK DURING THE EARLY DAYS OF THE INCURSION. HOWEVER,
DURING THE SUBSEQUENT PERIOD, FURTHER DAMAGE BY ISRAELI TANKS
RESULTED IN ADDITIONAL OUTAGES. AS A RESULT, THE BEIT HANOUN
HOSPITAL RELIED ON ITS GENERATOR POWER AND FUEL SUPPLIED BY
ICRC. OCHA ESTIMATED IN ITS NOVEMBER 9 REPORT THAT THE
ELECTRICAL NETWORK SHOULD BE RESTORED BY NOVEMBER 11.

WATER
-----

3. (SBU) DUE TO DAMAGE TO THE WATER NETWORK AND A LACK OF
ELECTRICITY TO POWER THE WATER PUMPS AT FOUR OF THE FIVE MAIN
WELLS IN BEIT HANOUN, THERE WAS INSUFFICIENT WATER FOR BEIT
HANOUN RESIDENTS DURING THE IDF INCURSION. ICRC DELIVERED
17,000 LITERS OF WATER TO SIX LOCATIONS IN BEIT HANOUN ON
NOVEMBER 3, WHILE UNRWA PROVIDED 30,000 LITERS OF TANKERED
WATER. NGOS, INCLUDING ISLAMIC RELIEF AND SAVE THE CHILDREN,
ALSO PROVIDED BOTTLED WATER, ACCORDING TO OCHA'S REPORT.
UNRWA ALSO PROVIDED ONE WEEK'S SUPPLY OF FUEL TO POWER ONE OF
THE BEIT HANOUN WELLS WHICH SERVES 20 PERCENT OF THE
POPULATION. ACCORDING TO OCHA, THE WATER NETWORK IN BEIT
HANOUN SHOULD BE REPAIRED BY NOVEMBER 11.

FOOD
----

4. (SBU) THE IDF-IMPOSED CURFEW ON BEIT HANOUN PREVENTED
FAMILIES FROM GATHERING ADDITIONAL FOOD SUPPLIES. HOWEVER,
THE IDF LIFTED THE CURFEW EVERY SECOND DAY FOR A FEW HOURS SO
RESIDENTS COULD PURCHASE FOOD OR PICK-UP FOOD ASSISTANCE
PACKAGES. THREE HUMANITARIAN CONVOYS, INCLUDING UN AGENCIES
AND THE ICRC, DELIVERED SUPPLIES TO BEIT HANOUN ON NOVEMBER
3, 4, AND 6, INCLUDING FOOD, POTABLE WATER, HEALTH CARE
SUPPLIES AND FUEL. OCHA REPORTED NOVEMBER 9 THAT MANY
COMMERCIAL SUPPLIERS FROM OTHER PARTS OF GAZA HAD APPEARED
UNWILLING TO ENTER BEIT HANOUN TO PROVIDE REPLACEMENT FOOD
SUPPLIES BECAUSE THEY WERE CONCERNED THEIR STOCKS COULD BE
SEIZED BY RESIDENTS.

HEALTH
------

5. (SBU) UNRWA HEALTH CARE FACILITIES WERE CLOSED FROM
OCTOBER 31 TO THE END OF THE INCURSION DUE TO THE IDF-IMPOSED
CURFEW WHICH PREVENTED MEDICAL CARE PERSONNEL FROM REACHING
THEIR WORKPLACES. MEDICAL TRANSFERS OUT OF BEIT HANOUN
REQUIRED COOPERATION WITH THE IDF, WHICH, IN CERTAIN
INDIVIDUAL CASES, CAUSED SOME DELAY. ACCORDING TO OCHA, UP
TO 1500 PEOPLE SOUGHT REFUGE IN BEIT HANOUN HOSPITAL ON
NOVEMBER 3, STRAINING THE HOSPITALS ABILITY TO PROVIDE
SERVICES.

6. (SBU) AT AN OCHA-CONVENED NOVEMBER 5 MEETING WITH DONORS
AND NGOS IN GAZA, CARE INTERNATIONAL ANNOUNCED THAT THEY HAD
PROVIDED 25 UNITS OF OXYGEN REGULATORS, FROM THEIR OWN FUNDS,
TO BEIT HANOUN HOSPITAL, IN ADDITION TO OTHER MEDICAL
SUPPLIES. UNICEF REPORTED THAT IT HAD PROVIDED 100 FAMILY
WATER AND BABY HYGIENE KITS. WFP SAID IT WOULD DISTRIBUTE

ANOTHER 3,000 FOOD PARCELS, IN ADDITION TO FRESH VEGETABLES.
USAID HAS AUTHORIZED CARE TO CONDUCT ASSESSMENTS AT TWO MOH
HOSPITALS IN THE BEIT HANOUN AREA IN ORDER TO DETERMINE WHAT
NEEDS MIGHT BE FULFILLED THROUGH USAID'S EMAP PROGRAM.
WALLES

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