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(photo credit: AP [file])
The number of people in the Gaza Strip relying on food handouts has increased since Hamas seized control there two weeks ago, the UN food agency said Tuesday.
Some 275,000 Gazans were receiving aid from the World Food Program before the takeover, but that number has grown to at least 377,000, spokeswoman Christiane Berthiaume told The Associated Press.
"This number has increased, and it is increasing daily because of the situation," she said.
About 60 commercial trucks and 11 carrying food aid were passing through the Sufa cargo crossing on the Israel-Gaza border Tuesday, Berthiaume said.
'Palestinian attack on Gaza passage won't halt aid'
"There is a possibility of a humanitarian crisis, and we appeal to all parties involved to make sure that commercial life starts again, that food gets into Gaza as well as relief," she said, adding that cooperation with Israel on the issue of aid shipments was good.
While there are no reports of acute malnutrition in Gaza, about 70 percent of the population of the small Palestinian territory suffers from what is termed food insecurity - difficulty getting hold of even basic foodstuffs.
That percentage was likely to increase unless circumstances changed, Berthiaume said.