Gazans refuse to cull birds, more cases discovered

Palestinian officials confirmed an outbreak of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu at a second farm in the Gaza Strip on Friday, and Israel's foreign minister appealed to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan for international assistance to the Palestinians to contain the disease. In all, bird flu has been detected at two farms in the Gaza Strip, one near Gaza City and one near the southern town of Rafah on the border with Egypt, said Deputy Agriculture Minister Azzam Tubaili. Gaza chicken farmers planned a protest later Friday, after government officials told them they would not be compensated for culled birds. The two affected farms have a total of 80,000 chickens. "They (the farmers) are preventing the culling because they want compensation before they let us do this," Tubaili said. "This is causing confusion. Any second of delay will really make a difference."