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oPt: UNRWA unable to deliver food in Gaza due to Israeli blockade

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GAZA, Nov 14, 2008 (Xinhua via COMTEX News Network) -- UNRWA unable to deliver food in Gaza due to Israeli blockade: official UNRWA unable to deliver food in Gaza due to Israeli blockade: official

A United Nations official warned on Friday that the continuation of the tight Israeli blockade on Gaza would disable the organization to deliver food supplies and humanitarian aid to the Palestinians.

John Ging, Director General of the UN Relief and Work Agency in the Far East (UNRWA) operations in Gaza said in a statement that " UNRWA is unable to deliver food in Gaza due to the strict Israeli blockade."

Israel has closed all Gaza Strip commercial crossings following an escalation of violence between Israel and Gaza militant groups. Israel hasn't allowed fuels and food supplies into the enclave since early last week.

"The situation in Gaza Strip is very tragic," Ging said. " Unfortunately, the food is running out while the crossings are still closed, and this means that we wouldn't be able to deliver food until Israel reopens Gaza crossings."

Eight Hamas militants were killed, and more than a dozen were injured since last week in a wave of violence between Israel and Gaza militant groups. In response to the escalation of violence, Israel decided to keep Gaza crossings closed.

"UNRWA has several trucks loaded with food waiting at the Israeli side of Gaza crossings, but they are not able to enter due to the closure," said Ging, who called on Israel to ease its restrictions to allow aid into Gaza.

On June 19, Egypt brokered a truce between Israel and Gaza militant groups, but the truce has almost collapsed after violence between Israel and Gaza militants erupted last week.

Mushir al-Masri, a senior Hamas official in Gaza said that his movement would respond to any Israeli violation of the truce, adding that Hamas militants have the ability to strike into the depth of Israel.

The movement's armed wing al-Qassam Brigades claimed responsibility for launching around ten homemade rockets from Gaza at Israeli southern costal city of Ashkelon. One Israeli woman was injured in the attacks.