Jordan plans to set up field hospital to Gaza today

EU aid commissioner to visit Gaza, Israel.

Gaza aid 224.88 (photo credit: )
Gaza aid 224.88
(photo credit: )
A Jordanian field hospital will deploy in the Gaza Strip on Monday to help those wounded during Israel's 22-day military offensive that ended a week ago. The 210 doctors, nurses and other staff will cross into Israel together with 33 trucks laden with supplies through the Allenby Bridge and then enter northern Gaza via the Erez crossing. On Sunday, humanitarian aid, including fuel, continued to enter the Strip through the Kerem Shalom, Nahal Oz and Erez crossings. Some 2,610 tons of aid from UNRWA, the World Food Program, UNICEF and Turkey were processed. Since the beginning of Operation Cast Lead on December 27, the IDF has permitted the transfer of 63,843 tons of humanitarian supplies. Hamas, in turn, has promised to distribute $52 million to people affected by Israel's offensive. The group receives millions in funding from Iran and donations from supporters around the world, believed to be smuggled into the territory in the form of cash through tunnels under the Egyptian border. On Monday, the EU's development and humanitarian aid commissioner, Louis Michel, is scheduled to travel to Gaza to see for himself the suffering of the civilian populations, and set up "fast-track procedures for humanitarian access and delivery." He is also expected to visit Sderot and meet there with Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit, and to meet with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem. During his visit Michel is expected to make an announcement regarding aid for the Palestinians in 2009, a large segment of which is expected to go toward easing the humanitarian situation in Gaza. In the past he has called on Israel to do more to increase the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza. Separately on Friday, a team of UN bomb experts and sappers went to the sites of IDF attacks in Gaza, to locate and deactivate or destroy Israeli dud shells and missiles. The team was provided maps of areas that the IDF determined were likely to have a large amount of unexploded ordinance. Last week, the army warned the Palestinian public in Gaza not to touch shells and to immediately contact the Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration with their location. AP contributed to this report