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Cablegate: Gaza: Violence Continues; Some Goods - but No Fuel

VZCZCXRO2892
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #2050 3221601
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 171601Z NOV 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3257
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS JERUSALEM 002050

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE; NEA/IPA FOR GOLDBERGER/LENTZ/HANKINS;
NSC FOR PASCUAL; PRM FOR PRM/ANE; PLEASE PASS TO USAID FOR
KUNDER/MCCLOUD/BORODIN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON KWBG IS PHUM PTER EAID
SUBJECT: GAZA: VIOLENCE CONTINUES; SOME GOODS - BUT NO FUEL
- ENTER

REF: JERUSALEM 2045

1. (SBU) Summary: Gaza's Kerem Shalom crossing was open on
November 17 for limited food and humanitarian shipments for
the first time since November 4, while Nahal Oz fuel transfer
station remains closed. At least 14 rockets have been fired
from Gaza November 16-17. The Gaza power plant has been shut
down since November 13 due to a lack of fuel. OCHA contacts
report that basic food supplies are sufficient for the near
future, despite the lack of UNRWA food handouts, though
prices are rising. End summary.

Limited Amounts of Food and Medicine Allowed
through Kerem Shalom; Nahal Oz Fuel Station Closed
--------------------------------------------- ------

2. (SBU) UN contacts report that 12 truckloads of commercial
food and 21 truckloads of WFP, UNRWA, and Red Cross
humanitarian shipments entered via Kerem Shalom crossing on
November 17. Erez crossing was open for international NGO
employees on November 17. The food and humanitarian
shipments are the first to enter Gaza since November 4.
(Note: Prior to the flare-up of violence, around 75
truckloads/day of commercial food and humanitarian shipments
entered Gaza via Kerem Shalom. End note.) Nahal Oz fuel
transfer station remains closed and ConGen contacts report
that most fuel supplies are nearly diminished. The Gaza
power plant has been shut down since November 13 due to a
lack of industrial fuel.

Blackouts Are Gazans' Most Immediate Concern
--------------------------------------------

3. (SBU) UN OCHA officials in Gaza said on November 17 that
electricity blackouts remain the most pressing issue for
Gazans, as most homes have running water for just a few hours
each day and much food has spoiled due to the lack of
refrigeration. Gaza water and sanitation contacts said on
November 17 that the pumps of the municipal sewage system are
receiving just 8-16 hours/day of electricity from the grid.
Emergency generators at those pumps have limited diesel fuel
supplies and many are not operational due to a lack
replacement parts. The lack of power and spare parts have
caused sewage pipes to back-up and around 65,000 cubic
meters/day of mostly untreated sewage flow into the sea,
according to our contacts. They noted that around 40,000
cubic meters/day of mostly treated sewage flowed into the sea
prior to June 2007. OCHA contacts report that basic food
supplies are sufficient for the near future, despite the lack
of UNRWA food handouts, though prices are rising.

Violence continues on November 16-17
------------------------------------

4. (SBU) ConGen contacts confirm press reports that at least
14 rockets were fired toward Israel November 16-17, with at
least 10 landing inside Israel. One Israeli was injured in a
rocket attack in Sderot on November 16, and an IAF airstrike
killed four Popular Resistance Committee militants in
Shujai,ya, Gaza City, on November 16, according to press
reports.
WALLES

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