Fuel crisis to halt UN food aid in Gaza

May 5th, 2008 - 4:10 am ICT by admin  

Jerusalem, May 5 (DPA) The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees will have to halt its food distribution program Monday due to a shortage of fuel for its vehicles, an official said Sunday. “We did not receive our supplies of fuel today, so we will have to stop food distribution,” said Chris Gunness, a spokesman for UNRWA, adding that other services including busing children to school would also be affected.

Gaza has been suffering from a lack of fuel due to Israeli imposed sanctions on imports to the territory, as well as a strike by the enclave’s fuel importers, who are protesting the Israeli measures.

On Sunday, industrial fuel for Gaza’s sole power plant was allowed in through the Nahal Oz fuel crossing, as was a limited supply of cooking gas, but Gunness said amounts intended for the UN did not get through.

Israel said it had intended to let more fuel in but had to shut the crossing after it came under mortar shelling by Palestinian militants. Last month, two Israelis were killed in an attack on Nahal Oz.

The UN had stopped food distribution a week ago for several days while it waited to receive fuel. Though supplies did eventually make it into Gaza, allowing aid agencies to resume services, officials had warned that the fuel was only sufficient for a short period.

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