UN warns Gaza food aid may end

UNRWA spokesman says aid to 750,000 people to halt by Friday if Israel keeps Gaza territory sealed.

Gaza aid 224.88 (photo credit: )
Gaza aid 224.88
(photo credit: )
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) aid agency said Tuesday that it will have to halt food distribution to 750,000 needy Gazans by Friday if Israel keeps the territory sealed. Agency spokesman Chris Gunness said food stockpiles were running low. "UNRWA's food distributions to 750,000 people in Gaza will end on Thursday unless we get in wheat, luncheon meat, powder milk and oil into the Gaza Strip. This is both a physical as well as a mental punishment of the population - of mothers and parents trying to feed their children - who are being forced to live hand to mouth. It is a further illustration of the barbarity of this inhuman blockade. It is also shameful and unacceptable that the largest humanitarian actor in Gaza is being forced into yet another cycle of crisis management," said Gunness. Israel sealed Gaza's crossings last week after terrorists resumed their rocket attacks on southern Israel, which they said was in response to an IDF incursion into Gaza. The army said it carried out a pinpoint operation to destroy a tunnel dug for the purpose of kidnapping soldiers. Both sides have declared their readiness to return to a cease-fire that took effect in June. On Wednesday last week, Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered all border crossings between Gaza and Israel closed until further notice. Israel has not said when it will re-open the crossings. On Tuesday, Israel allowed fuel to enter Gaza for the territory's power plant. Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report