OPT: Violence jeopardises humanitarian operations in Gaza

As violent clashes between Hamas and Fatah loyalists enter their sixth day in the Gaza Strip, UNRWA has expressed its alarm at the number killed and injured and has warned that delivery of humanitarian assistance is in serious jeopardy.

Three of UNRWA's five Food Distribution centers and seven of UNRWA's 18 health clinics were forced to close as fighting raged in their immediate vicinity and in some cases spilled over into the premises today. "We are extremely concerned for the plight of the one million refugees who depend on UNRWA's food assistance and medical services, however, we cannot deliver food and medical services in the crossfire" said John Ging Director of UNRWA's Operation in Gaza.

The violence is compounding an already dreadful humanitarian situation. 80% of the refugee population is totally aid dependant; the economy has collapsed under the weight of the international economic embargo leaving Palestine refugees in unprecedented misery and despair.

"We call on all Palestinian leaders to use their influence to resolve their disputes through peaceful means. This senseless fighting must stop and must make way for dialogue and negotiation. The civilian population of the Gaza Strip demand it and deserve it" Ging said.

For more information please contact:

John Ging: 059960829 / 0542325580 (Gaza)
Adnan Abu Hasna: 0599428061 (Gaza)