Rassegna Stampa Elezioni Israeliane 2009

Monitoraggio attraverso i media internazionali delle elezioni in Israele del Febbraio 2009

UN accuses Hamas of stealing aid in Gaza

Posted by claudiacampli su 4 febbraio, 2009


The United Nations today accused Hamas of stealing food and blankets destined for Gaza’s destitute population, thousands of whom lost their homes in the recent war between Israel and the Islamist movement.

The accusation came as the international community plans a massive reconstruction effort on the war-torn enclave, and could further complicate a situation already fraught with difficulty because Israel refuses to allow a wide variety of goods into the blockaded area.

Chris Gunnes, spokesman for the UN agency that looks after tens of thousands of Palestinian refugee families, said Hamas policemen broke into a UN aid warehouse and took 3,500 blankets and 4,000 food parcels which had been earmarked for 500 families in need.

The United Nations has refused to hand aid over directly to the welfare ministry run by Hamas, labelled by the West as a terrorist organisation but which won Palestinian elections three years ago. Hamas has been promising Gazans help rebuilding their wrecked homes, but has very little hope of practically doing so with an Israeli ban on importing cement and metal , among other items.

Mr Gunnes said the enforced confiscation was “absolutely unacceptable.” Ahmed al-Kurd, the Hamas welfare minister, denied the charges, in turn accusing the UN agency of refusing to cooperate fully with his department. “Not a single policeman nor any employee of the Welfare Ministry entered any facility or centre belonging to UNRWA,” he said.

The spat revealed the underlying tensions of rebuilding Gaza, with both Hamas and its secular rivals Fatah, whom it drove out at gunpoint 18 months ago, vying for control of the reconstruction drive.

The Hamas minister hinted that the UN had given aid to non-governmental organisations linked to Fatah, and said the agency lacked “neutrality and transparency”.

Aid to Gaza has already become a controversial issue after the BBC refused to screen the Disasters Emergency Committee’s appeal for funding, arguing it could compromise their own neutrality. With some donors worried that aid could fall into Hamas’ hands, the UN is expected to take a lead role in distributing vital supplies.

Salam Fayyad, the Palestinian prime minister in the West Bank, announced a 600-million-dollar aid programme financed by international donors to rebuild the Gaza, where some 4,000 homes were destroyed and 20,000 damaged, as well as factories, ministries and other infrastructure that were destroyed by Israeli bombs.



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