Monday, June 17
Latest News
  1. Cluster of incendiary balloons land in southern Israel
  2. Palestinian FM condemns Germany's vote to define BDS as 'anti-Semitic'
  3. Israeli forces forcibly evict Muslim worshipers from Al-Aqsa
  4. Israeli forces detain 14-year-old Palestinian near Ramallah
  5. Erekat: Deviation from peace terms of reference doomed to fail
  6. Iceland's Hatari shocks Eurovision with Palestinian flags
  7. UNRWA: 4 Palestinian children killed in attack on Syria refugee camp
  8. Israeli forces attack, injure Palestinian youths in Jerusalem
  9. Germany to condemn BDS movement as 'anti-Semitic'
  10. FM to UK Parliament: Two-state solution could reach point of no return

UN humanitarian chief: conditions in Gaza "grim and miserable"

Feb. 20, 2008 2:54 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 20, 2008 2:54 P.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma'an - Conditions in the Gaza Strip are "grim and miserable and in no way in accordance with basic human dignity," the United Nations' (UN) top humanitarian official, John Holmes, said on Monday.

Holmes, the Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, toured the Gaza Strip and Sderot, the Israeli city most affected by Palestinian projectile attacks last weekend. He wrapped up his visit expressing his concern about both the projectiles and the deteriorating situation in Gaza.

In response to the attacks on Sderot and other cities, Israel has imposed a crippling blockade of Gaza, closing all the territory's border crossings and cutting supplies of fuel and electricity.

Holmes noted that the Gaza Strip is increasingly dependent on international aid, with 75% of Gazans receiving food aid. Gaza's medical sector, he said, is "teetering on the edge of viability."

Holmes also said that there are 230 million US dollars of UN-sponsored humanitarian projects that have been suspended due to the Israeli closure.

Holmes said that the Palestinian Authority should take responsibility for Gaza's border crossings, a proposal that neither Israel nor the Hamas-led de facto government of Gaza have accepted.

Asked whether the lockdown of the Gaza Strip constitutes economic sanctions between one state and another, as Israel has argued, or a blockade, an act of war as human rights groups have argued, Holmes said that "it certainly looks more like a blockade to me," and that Israel still has obligations in Gaza under the Geneva Conventions as the occupying power.

Most Read
Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015