Israel opens border crossing to Gaza for emergency aid
Israel sends gas for heating and water pumps to storm-ravaged Gaza Strip • Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh: "The Knesset's restriction on bringing building materials prevents us from fixing infrastructure and that is why we have floods."
Lilach Shoval and Daniel Siryoti
The Gaza Strip was plagued by floods during the storm over the weekend
Photo credit: AP
Israel opened the Kerem Shalom crossing to the Gaza Strip on Friday to transfer emergency aid to residents suffering from wide scale flooding and no heating.
The crossing was opened after the U.N. turned to Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Eitan Dangot for assistance.
Israel sent gas for heating and water pumps to deal with the rampant flooding in the Gaza Strip. Dangot updated senior officials in the Palestinian Authority and representatives from the international community on the situation, and stressed that Israel would do everything necessary to help the Gaza Strip and Judea and Samaria populations, with an emphasis on transferring electricity to the power plants in the Gaza Strip.
The storm caused major damage in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Palestinian Authority rescue teams used a combined Israeli-Palestinian command center which was formed in light of the storm, and nearly 700 Palestinian families had to be rescued from houses that flooded in the West Bank. In the Gaza Strip, at least 4,000 families had to be rescued from flooded buildings.
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh blamed Israel for damages in the Gaza Strip. "Israel is the one to blame for what is happening in the Gaza Strip. The Knesset's restriction on bringing building materials prevents us from fixing infrastructure and that is why we have floods," he said.