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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Humanitarian crisis in Gaza

GENEVA, July 10 (KUNA) -- The UN Co-Ordination Office for Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) on Monday called for the continuous and unimpeded access for humanitarian assistance and fuel supplies to Gaza as the strip is drowning into a humanitarian crisis.
With the bombing of the electric plant, the lives of 1.4 million people, almost half of them children, worsened overnight. The Government of Israel should repair the damage done to the power station," said the OCHA statement. Civilians, said OCHA, are disproportionately paying the price of this conflict. In the immediate future, OCHA expressed fear that the humanitarian situation could easily deteriorate, with continued Israeli military operations and artillery shelling, which could damage the remaining infrastructure and essential services. Other UN agencies working in Gaza joined UN OCHA in warning that unless urgent action is taken, a humanitarian crisis will unfold that will have far reaching consequences for the communities they work in and the institutions they work for. Those agencies working in the occupied Palestinian territory are alarmed by developments on the ground, which have seen innocent civilians, including children, killed, brought increased misery to hundreds of thousands of people and which will wreak far-reaching harm on Palestinian society. "
via Juan Cole, who recommends contacting Congress, which makes possible Israel's criminal policies of collective punishment by providing billions of dollars of assistance every year.