IDF denies human rights group's claim of Gaza humanitarian crisis

The IDF has deflected accusations made over the weekend by members of Physicians for Human Rights, who visited the Gaza Strip and claimed that a humanitarian crisis was developing in the Palestinian territory. The human rights group claimed that the IDF closure imposed on the Gaza Strip and the tight security measures at the border crossings with Israel was preventing the supply of drugs to Gaza hospitals. The doctors visited a number of hospitals and met with senior PA officials including Health Minister Dr. Basim Naeem. The IDF rejected the accusations claiming that close to 800 sick Palestinians were allowed into Israel for treatment at hospitals over the past two months. Out of 221 requests to transfer donations, including medicine, to Gaza, 209, the IDF said, were approved, including a donation from Jordanian King Abdullah II. Meanwhile, closure of the Karni crossing has severely damaged Gaza's economy, with losses this winter of about $600,000 per day, the World Bank said in the report distributed Sunday. The Palestinians, officials said, were responsible for the grave situation in the Gaza Strip and were essentially "shooting themselves in the foot" by continuing to fire Kassam rockets at Israel. "They cannot expect us to open the crossings without supervision while there are terrorists there who are daily launching attacks against Israel," one official said.