The A. Family lives in Siafa in the north west corner of the Gaza Strip, an agricultural region isolated and cut off from the rest of Gaza, near what used to be the Dugit Settlement. All of their food and medical supplies have run out, and since the fighting began, no assistance has reached them. The family has 120 members; the youngest is 5 months old, the oldest is 80. Since the fighting began in the Gaza Strip, the area has been completely surrounded by the Israeli army, and on January 3rd, the army bombed one of their houses, killing a child and a senior citizen.
On January 8th, HaMoked turned to the District Coordination Office (DCO) in Gaza, and demanded that food be supplied to the family. Later, the family informed HaMoked that the army's response had been to deliver 120 sandwiches and 6 bottles of water – this in order to meet the demands of 120 people whose supply of food had run out a week ago!
The army informed HaMoked that with this ends its responsibility towards the family, and that they do not have any intention to supply more food or medicine to them. Moreover, the army notified HaMoked of the "humanitarian corridor" taking place later that day and of the 3-hour "humanitarian" cease fire in which one can equip oneself with the necessary supplies. However, the A. family does not have anywhere they can go to equip themselves, due to its geographic isolation.
HaMoked once again demanded that the army hold to its obligations. In response, the army came up with two alternative solutions: One – absurd from the start – that a relative from Gaza city will collect the necessary supplies and somehow transfer them to the northern Gaza Strip, from where the army will collect the goods and then distribute them to the family. Second – HaMoked should organize the necessary aid, and send it to Erez crossing, from where the army will deliver it to the family. The army assured HaMoked that if the supplies were delivered, it would ensure that they reach the family.
HaMoked bought 5 tons of food and medicine. The food supplies were bought through contributions from several generous individuals from Israel and abroad. Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-Israel) collected all of the necessary medications.
After the food had already been bought and was ready to be delivered, the army tried to retract its initial promise to coordinate the delivery of goods to the family. Only near midnight on Saturday, January 10th, did the army finally confirm that the government's operations department in the Territories had issued a permit to deliver the supplies.
This morning, January 11th, 2009, a truck loaded with food and medicine left Jerusalem to Zikim checkpoint, from where the army transported the supplies to a military outpost half a kilometer from the family's homes. The family members are bringing the supplies slowly to their houses, with the help of two donkeys and two wagons.
HaMoked wishes to emphasize the fact that the responsibility for supplying food, medicine and humanitarian aid to the people of the Gaza Strip is ultimately, that of the State of Israel.