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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Hamas: UN aid went missing on Israeli side

Sat, 07 Feb 2009 09:51:23 GMT
Trucks carrying international humanitarian aid to Gaza
Hamas tells Press TV that it has settled a row with the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to resume aid shipments into the Gaza Strip.

On Friday, UNRWA announced that it was suspending all import of aid into the Gaza Strip after one of its convoys disappeared on the way to the Palestinian coastal silver.

The UN body blamed Hamas for the incident.

But Social Affairs Minister in Gaza, Ahmed Al-Kurd, said it was a misunderstanding and the convoy went missing on the Israeli side of the crossing.

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon whose organization failed to stop Israeli deadly attacks on the Strip had immediately issued a statement demanding that Hamas release the goods and refrain from interfering with the distribution of aid in Gaza.

"The Secretary-General reiterates the Security Council's call, in its resolution 1860, for the unimpeded provision and distribution throughout Gaza of humanitarian assistance, including food, fuel and medical treatment. All parties must refrain from interfering with, or hampering the provision and distribution of, urgently needed humanitarian assistance to the civilian population in Gaza," the statement said.

The already impoverished region has been under a tight Israeli blockade for the past 19 months, which has caused an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. The siege deprives Gaza residents from their basic needs including food, fuel, and medicine.

Israel blockaded the coastal region after the democratically-elected government of Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in mid-June 2007.

The food and medicine crisis deteriorated during Israel's aerial seaborne and ground attacks on the beleaguered region, which began on December 27.

Israel continued pounding the costal sliver for 23 consecutive days, leaving 1, 330 Palestinians killed and 5,450 others wounded.

The onslaught left over 20,000 civilian buildings destroyed or partially damaged, leaving thousands of Gazans displaced.

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