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Friday, February 6, 2009

UN says Israel must open Gaza ghetto

Wed, 04 Feb 2009 11:12:03 GMT | PressTV

Trucks carrying
international humanitarian
aid to Gaza
The United Nations has warned that Israel must allow more trucks to enter the Gaza Strip to allow the flow of relief supplies to continue.

Only a limited array of items enter Gaza through the crossings, said the Office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO) and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Tuesday.

According to OCHA, only 192 trucks entered into Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing between January 30 and February 1.

Earlier, Israeli authorities had assured aid agencies that the crossing would be opened to let 150 trucks through daily.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the opening of all crossing points into Gaza upon his arrival in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

He also called for a durable and sustainable ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

The UN has launched a $613 million appeal in support of Gaza's post-conflict recovery operation for the area's 1.5 million residents. The funds are intended to meet the needs of Gazans in the next nine months and will also be used by 106 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and for 82 UN projects, based on a two-week assessment.

Hamas and Israel both announced ceasefires in mid January, ending a devastating 23-day war that killed at least 1,330 Palestinians and injured at least 5,450 people, most of them civilians.

The Israeli offensive has cost the Palestinian economy an estimated $1.6 billion.

At least 16,000 residential structures have been damaged, and 5,000 have been reduced to rubble as a result of the Israeli attacks.

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