Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

France's Iliad considers fresh offer for T-Mobile

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

Read more

DEBATE

Clone of Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part Two)

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part One)

Read more

ENCORE!

The French Maestro of Soul

Read more

FOCUS

US tobacco giants want lion's share of e-cigarette business

Read more

ENCORE!

Bold and bonkers: Kate Bush is back on stage

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Simon Serfaty, US foreign policy specialist

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'It's a War, Stupid!'

Read more

  • NATO plans new 'spearhead' force to counter Russia

    Read more

  • French education ministry picture sparks racist abuse

    Read more

  • UN backs Iraqi request for inquiry into IS militant crimes

    Read more

  • US military targets Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao leaves Ligue 1 for Man Utd

    Read more

  • Obama calls for higher wages amid 'revving' US economy

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine’s children return to school as fighting rages on

    Read more

  • Americans detained in North Korea call for US help

    Read more

  • US urges Israel to reverse West Bank land seizure

    Read more

  • Lesotho PM calls for regional peacekeeping force after ‘coup’

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

  • Teddy Riner, France’s unstoppable judo champion

    Read more

  • Death toll rises in Paris apartment building blast

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces free Amerli in biggest victory over IS militants since June

    Read more

  • French police arrest hungry hedgehog hunters

    Read more

  • Tripoli under control of militias, says government

    Read more

UN suspends Gaza aid due to lack of fuel

Latest update : 2008-04-24

UN officials said that the World Food Programme has suspended distribution of aid in Gaza because Israel will not permit the entry of fuel for the food delivery trucks.


The United Nations stopped distributing aid to the Gaza Strip on Thursday after running out of fuel as the Israeli terminal that supplies the besieged Palestinian territory remained shut.
  
"We have just stopped the distribution of all food aid to 650,000 Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip because of the lack of fuel in our storage in Gaza," said Adnan Abu Hasna, a spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) office in Gaza.
  
"We also stopped transporting students and officials in the Gaza Strip," he told AFP. "Not a litre of fuel came from Israel," he added.
  
Israel, which maintains a punishing blockade on the impoverished territory, claimed the Islamist Hamas movement was preventing distribution of one million litres of fuel (260,000 gallons) delivered about a week ago to the Nahal Oz terminal on the Gaza border.
  
UNRWA said the stored fuel was not destined for UN agencies in Gaza, which buy their own supplies but also have to import them through Nahal Oz.
  
Israel suggested that the United Nations complain to Hamas, which runs Gaza.
  
"They should take it up with Hamas and demand they get fuel from the million litres stored on the Palestinian side of the border," foreign ministry spokesman Arye Mekel said.
  
"We did try today to transfer fuel directly to UNRWA but a farmers' demonstration supported by Hamas prevented us from doing so," he told AFP.
  
"Hamas has prevented the use of this fuel stocked for humanitarian purposes such as ambulances, generators, hospitals and water pumps," Mekel added. "Hamas is creating an artificial and dishonest crisis."
  
An Israeli military spokesman said it was impossible to deliver any more fuel until existing supplies are picked up.
  
"We have no room -- the tanks are full," he said.
  
John Ging, who heads the UNRWA offices in Gaza, said Israel had promised to supply 100,000 litres of diesel and 20,000 litres of petrol to the United Nations.
  
"It is unacceptable that the UN should find itself having to consider suspending its humanitarian operations simply for a lack of fuel for its vehicles," EU Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Louis Michel said in a statement.
  
"It is also unacceptable that public services such as garbage collection, sewage treatment or hospitals are at the brink of collapse for the same reason," Michel added.
  
Israel stopped supplying petrol and diesel and cut fuel supplies for Gaza's power plant by half after Palestinian militants attacked Nahal Oz two weeks ago, killing two Israeli civilian employees.
  
It resumed shipments of fuel for the power plant several days later, but again halted deliveries after another attack killed three Israeli soldiers near the crossing.
  
Israel has sealed the Gaza Strip off from all but vital humanitarian aid since Hamas, a movement pledged to its destruction, seized control of the territory last June.
  
Robert Serry, the UN's special envoy to the Middle East peace process, on Wednesday urged Palestinian militants to stop attacking border crossings and called on Israel to lift its blockade.
  
Humanitarian agencies say Gaza, one of the world's most densely populated areas where 1.5 million people living on a narrow sliver of land, is on the brink of disaster.
  
Israel says the sanctions it applies are necessary to pressure Hamas to end near-daily rocket attacks on Israeli communities and military positions near the fenced-off Gaza border.
  
The situation in Gaza was highlighted on Wednesday at a UN Security Council session in New York that saw Western ambassadors walk out in protest after the Libyan delegate compared conditions in the strip to those in Nazi death camps.
  

Date created : 2008-04-24

COMMENT(S)