oPt: Borders closed, food distribution at risk

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"If Israel does not reopen the borders we will not even be able to cure the most common sicknesses; the hospitals lack bandages medicines and electricity is constantly rationed", said Jamal al Khudari, head of the Popular Committee against the Siege on Gaza, to MISNA, denouncing what he called "a predictable humanitarian crisis". The closure of the borders "is causing a situation of chronic emergency - said al-Khudari - which is impossible to contain in Gaza on account of the long months of siege". Moreover, he said, "the border passes at Sofa, Abu Salem, Karni, Beit Hanoun (Erez) which link Gaza with the outside world and which Israel usually keeps partially open for the passage of a restricted number of people and goods, have been closed for the past six consecutive days". If such a situation persists, "the UN will be forced to stop the distribution of food aid to 750,000 residents starting next Friday", said Chris Gunness, UNRWA spokesman. "This is not just a matter of the collective punishment of a people - said Gunness - but of the psychological prostration of entire families who must feed their children". Today, after a week marked by the majority of the population having been left without electricity because of the closure of the sole power station, Israel has authorized the resumption of fuel supplies to Gaza.