Rassegna Stampa Elezioni Israeliane 2009

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

UN halts aid into Gaza after Hamas hijacks humanitarian convoy

Posted by claudiacampli su 7 febbraio, 2009

The United Nations today halted humanitarian supplies into Gaza after Hamas forces seized an aid convoy.

Members of the Islamist group which controls the territory took control of 10 trucks in the second such confiscation within two days.

The aid had been intended for the victims of the Israeli offensive which killed 1,300 Palestinians, left 5,000 wounded and thousands homeless.

Christopher Gunness, spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) which supports much of Gaza’s 1.5 million population, said: “The Hamas government must return all of the aid that’s been confiscated… and we have to be given by the Hamas government credible assurances that this will not happen again.

“If it doesn’t happen, then we will continue with the suspension of our imports.”

The UN decision comes after an similar incident on Wednesday when Hamas took 3,500 blankets and 4,000 food parcels, which had been earmarked for 500 families in need, from an UNRWA storeroom in Gaza.

Hamas denied its officials had been involved in the storeroom theft.

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.

Ahmed al-Kurd, welfare minister in Gaza’s Hamas government, said the supplies were taken by mistake.

“It was a misunderstanding between drivers,” Mr al-Kurd said. “We have told UNRWA they can come and take the goods. For some reason, they did not come.”

The aid row came as Hamas said it will reject a long-term truce with Israel being mediated by Egypt unless the deal includes lifting the blockade on the Gaza Strip.

The group’s leader Khaled Meshaal, addressing a rally in Damascus, said Hamas has only received “vague” proposals from Egypt without an Israeli commitment to lift the siege.

He said: “We will not accept a truce unless it was in return for lifting the siege, opening the border crossings and acceleration of the reconstruction of Gaza.”

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