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Continued border closings between Israel and Gaza threaten supplies – UN

Continued border closings between Israel and Gaza threaten supplies – UN

All border crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip remain closed, leaving hundreds of trucks carrying United Nations relief supplies waiting to enter Gaza while threatening the supply of canned meat to Palestinians living inside the territory, UN officials said today.

The border crossings have been closed since last Wednesday, when only Jordanian trucks were allowed through the Sufa crossing, according to the Office of the UN Special Coordinator (UNSCO) in Jerusalem.

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) says it has about 200 trucks that need to get into Gaza to distribute supplies to some of the occupied territory’s estimated 1.4 million residents. The World Food Programme (WFP) has about 40 trucks of its own that also need to get through.

UNRWA said that it will be out of canned meat by the end of this week unless further shipments are permitted, adding it is working with Israeli authorities to find alternative solutions to allow the goods into Gaza.

At the same time, UNSCO noted that fuel imports into Gaza have resumed: 315,000 litres came in yesterday and more than 500,000 litres arrived today. Rolling electricity cuts continue nevertheless, especially in Gaza City.

Israel has said its tight restrictions on border crossings aim to force an end to the daily rocket and mortar attacks launched against Israeli residential areas by militants in Gaza.