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UN resumes Gaza food aid

Latest update : 2008-04-28

Following a four-day stoppage of fuel deliveries that disrupted food aid, the UN Relief and Works Agency is now able to resume it. Israel has minimised supplies as part of an embargo.

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees will resume distributing food aid in Gaza on Tuesday after a four-day interruption caused by fuel shortages, a spokesman said.
"UNRWA has collected 55,000 litres (14,470 gallons) of diesel. Because of that we will be able to resume our food distribution tomorrow," said Chris Gunness, a spokesman for the agency.
"But this falls well short of solving Gaza's fuel crisis," he said.
On Thursday, UNRWA halted its food distribution to 650,000 people in the besieged Palestinian territory, saying it no longer had any fuel for its aid trucks.
Officials said fuel tankers on Monday collected the diesel from the Nahal Oz terminal, which supplies virtually all of Gaza's fuel.
On Thursday, a demonstration Israel claims was stage-managed by the Hamas movement that rules Gaza prevented tankers from reaching Nahal Oz.
The terminal on the Gaza-Israeli border has only been open sporadically since Gaza militants launched a deadly attack there on April 9.
Israel allows only limited basic supplies into the Gaza Strip in an embargo it says aims at forcing militants to halt their almost daily rocket fire against the Jewish state.
"This drip, drip, drip policy makes it impossible to plan and conduct a long-term, large-scale humanitarian operation and makes it impossible for people to lead decent and dignified lives," Gunness said.
"What is needed is a commitment from Israel that there will be consistency and sufficient quantities of supplies," he said.
Israel has claimed that Hamas prevented the distribution of a million litres (260,000 gallons) of fuel stored on the Palestinian side of Nahal Oz.
Palestinian gas station owners have been on strike for three weeks to protest Israeli fuel cutbacks.

Date created : 2008-04-28