'If Hamas uses aid properly, there'll be no crisis'

Coordinator of Gov't Activity in the Territories says Israel has transferred 40,000 tons of aid to Gaza in recent weeks.

hamas holding flags 298. (photo credit: AP)
hamas holding flags 298.
(photo credit: AP)
There is no impending humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, Coordinator of Government Activity in the Territories Maj.-Gen. Yosef Mishlav told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Tuesday. Israel has transferred 40,000 tons of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip in recent weeks, he said. "If that aid is used properly there will be no humanitarian crisis, no hunger," he added. Although security issues have periodically shut down the border crossings, Israel has worked hard to deliver aid to the Gaza Strip, Mishlav said, adding: "They have full access to water, gas and electricity." The United Nations is currently using Kerem Shalom and Sufa crossings to provide food staples to 1.1 million of the 1.4 million Palestinians in Gaza. Last week, the human rights organization Gisha said 85 percent of Gaza residents were dependent on humanitarian aid while production inside the Gaza Strip shuts down. Meanwhile, Hamas on Tuesday called for direct talks with Israel over the Gaza crossings. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh's financial adviser said the group had "no problem coordinating with Israel all the ideas about how to open the crossings," Channel 10 reported. "We have a special and experienced team, which is not corrupt," he said. "It is possible to open the crossings tomorrow." The financial adviser said Hamas had a security team that would protect all workers at the terminals, "even those on the Israeli side." "We remain obligated to ensure there is quiet on both sides of the terminals," he said. Former Palestinian Authority government spokesman Ghazi Hamad reiterated the adviser's comments. "We are not talking about secret negotiations but direct talks with Israel," he said. Hamad said any agreement reached between Israel and the PA in Ramallah would not be accepted by the "legal government of Ismail Haniyeh."