DFID is in close contact with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) which is monitoring the humanitarian situation in Gaza. All crossing points into Gaza have been closed for goods since 25 June, with the exception of Karni which was open for one day on 2 July. This enabled some humanitarian supplies to enter Gaza. Karni was closed again on 3 July.
Only diplomats are freely able to enter Gaza. All international staff of humanitarian organisations not holding diplomatic passports, such as those working for non-governmental organisations, require prior co-ordination with the Israeli authorities. No Palestinian staff of humanitarian organisations are able to enter Gaza.
DFID is helping UNOCHA by providing a movement and access specialist to help the UN coordinate with the Israeli authorities. Current information on humanitarian access to the West Bank and Gaza is available at http://www.humanitarianinfo.org/opt/.
The main impact of recent military action has been to the loss of electrical power following damage to Gaza's only power plant. The closure of the Nahal Oz oil pipeline from 26 June to 2 July and greater difficulty in movement due to the destruction of three bridges providing north-south access have also had an effect. Hospitals in Gaza are maintaining services by using back-up generators, although there are reports that supplies of some essential drugs and supplies are nearly finished. It is difficult for anyone from the south to access to the main referral hospital in Gaza city in the north.
The Gaza economy has been severely constrained since March, when Hamas assumed power. Since then, the access point for exports from Gaza has been closed, trade with Israel has all but stopped and a very limited number of public sector salaries have been paid. Most of the water supply to Gaza is pumped from wells. Supplies are being continued by connecting pumps to generators, but there is concern that fuel for these generators is dependent on the Nahal Oz pipeline remaining open.