Israel allows transport of humanitarian aid into Gaza

Israel Materials 24 November 2008 14:03 (UTC +04:00)

Israel said Monday it would allow another shipment of basic humanitarian supplies Gaza after a reduction in rocket attacks from the strip over the past few days, reported dpa.

Some 45 trucks with food and medical supplies would enter through Israel's Kerem Shalom crossings with the southern Gaza Strip shortly after noon, a military official said.

The head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNWRA), Karen Abu Zayd, had warned Sunday that Gaza might suffer hunger if Israel did not allow humanitarian aid into the strip.

The humanitarian shipment is the second in 20 days of an all but total closure of the strip, imposed by Israel amid a breakdown of a five-month-old truce.

In those 20 days, only one convoy of 33 trucks with essential humanitarian supplies entered Gaza one week ago, in addition to a limited amount of industrial diesel for the strip's power plant several days earlier.

On Sunday afternoon militants fired one rocket from Gaza at a southern Israeli kibbutz (agricultural commune), an Israeli military spokesman said.

Israeli government officials cited intelligence information that Hamas was interested in restoring the truce, fearing the severe blockade may weaken its standing in the strip, and has begun acting against militants of other factions who have continued launching the rockets, radio reports said.

Hamas leader and de facto premier in Gaza, Ismail Haniya, announced on Friday that his movement had met with other factions active in Gaza, who agreed to abide by the truce if Israel did.

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak also told Israel Radio that if the other side wanted the truce, Israel was willing to keep it. He added however that the Israeli military was ready to act if it did not. dpa le ok jbl mga