Tal Rabinovsky
June 19, 2008 - 2:54pm

Israel and Hamas may remain doubtful as for their ceasefire's chances of being a a long-lasting one, but the humanitarian organizations are optimistic, eager to take advantage of the clam to ship essential equipment into Gaza.

United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Spokesman, Christopher Gunnes, said the UN welcomed the ceasefire and sees it as a positive step for bettering the conditions of Gazans and refugees. Ganz expressed his hope that a period of calm and peace will prevail, allowing the UN to promote its $93 million initiatives to restore structures and build schools, homes and clinics in the Gaza Strip.

The Red Cross reported it is yet to obtain the permits necessary to send food and equipment into Gaza. Red Cross representatives reported that Gaza is nearing economic collapse. Fishermen and farmers find it hard to sell their produce due to import and export limitations. A fundamental change needs to take place in order to enable normal commerce.

Amnesty Israel clarified that any changes in Gaza will only be apparent in the long run, saying a one-day truce is not enough to pull Gaza out of its humanitarian crisis.  Amnesty welcomed the ceasefire, yet will remain solely concerned with the civilians’ well-being, the group said. Physicians For Human Rights added that it hopes the ceasefire would allow a more effective treatment of patients. “In the past six months, only Arab-Israeli doctors were allowed into Gaza, while Jews were refused entry,” said Danny Filc, the organization’s chairman.

“We hope that this truce will open the crossings and allow the entry of medical equipment and medicine lacking in Gaza in the past few months, as well as making it easier for patients to leave the area for further treatment,” said Filc.


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