UNRWA accuses Hamas of stealing Gaza aid

Other News Materials 4 February 2009 17:29 (UTC +04:00)

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) on Wednesday accused police forces from the Islamic Hamas movement of stealing humanitarian aid sent to the Gaza Strip in the wake of Israel's fierce offensive against the salient, reported dpa.

The aid was taken by force from an UNRWA station in the Shatti beach refugee camp, the organization said in a statement.

"Members of the Hamas police seized by force 3,500 blankets and 406 food packages ready to be delivered to hundreds of poor Gaza families," the statement said.

Hamas and its security forces have administered and controlled the Gaza Strip since June 2007, when they routed security forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

But UNRWA has refused to hand the humanitarian aid it has received to the Hamas-ruled ministry of social welfare.

"Aid delivery to refugees is UNRWA's mission, and we strongly condemn the confiscation," the UNRWA statement said.

Some 60 per cent of the 1.5 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip are refugees receiving aid from UNRWA.