UN refugee agency hopes for early end to Gaza food aid suspension

Israel Materials 26 April 2008 14:41 (UTC +04:00)

The UN humanitarian agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) said Saturday the suspension of food aid deliveries to refugees in the Gaza Strip due to a lack of fuel will not last for long.

On Thursday, the agency halted the distribution of food to 650,000 Palestinians due to a lack of fuel after Israel reduced fuel shipments to the radical Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, dpa reported.

"From our experience, I don't think this issue will last for long because there are urgent intensive communications with the Israeli side on all levels," UNRWA spokesman Adnan Abu Hassna told Voice of Palestine radio.

"There are promises that this problem would be resolved very soon."

He warned of "more consequences" if the efforts did not succeed because the refugees "don't have anything and they largely depend on the aid delivered by the UNRWA."

The fuel crisis has widened since Israel completely withheld reduced shipments on April 9 when Palestinian militants attacked the Nahal Oz crossing, the only terminal to pipe fuel into Gaza.

But Israel argues that the Palestinian gas companies, pressured by Hamas, are refusing to accept the fuel it sends to show the world there is a disaster.