UN official slams Israeli block of paper shipment

The top UN official in the Gaza Strip has criticized Israel for blocking shipments of paper to the Palestinian territory to print textbooks for a new human rights curriculum that will be taught to children there. Israel also has refused to allow 12 truckloads of notebooks into Gaza, as well as plastic sheeting that would be turned into plastic bags to distribute food that the UN provides to some 900,000 people, John Ging, head of Gaza operations for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. Ging spoke Monday in a videoconference with reporters at UN headquarters. He said 60 percent of the textbooks needed in Gaza have not been printed, so children don't have the material they need to study. Ging said he was "extremely frustrated" at Israel's refusal to allow paper into Gaza, "not least because we have a new human rights curriculum which everybody here is very excited to teach the children."