EU aid chief urges opening of Israel-Gaza border

The European Union appealed Tuesday for the opening of border crossings between Israel and the Gaza strip to allow in more humanitarian aid supplies. "The needs are increasing all the time," EU Aid Commissioner Louis Michel said. "€30 million (US$40 million) in supplies and funding from the EU are ready and waiting, give us the tools to get on with the job." International aid officials say the number of people in relying on food handouts has grown since Hamas seized control in Gaza two weeks ago. The World Food Program in Geneva said about 60 commercial trucks and 11 carrying food aid were passing through the Sufa cargo crossing into Gaza Tuesday, but mortar fire forced the closure of another crossing point Monday.