EU calls on Israel to ensure fuel supplies to Gaza

European Union Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Louis Michel said Thursday "It is unacceptable that the U.N. should find itself having to consider suspending its humanitarian operations simply for a lack of fuel for its vehicles,"

EU calls on Israel to ensure fuel supplies to Gaza
European Union Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Louis Michel Thursday urged Israel to ensure fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip, amid U.N. warnings aid to Palestinian refugees there will end otherwise.

"It is unacceptable that the U.N. should find itself having to consider suspending its humanitarian operations simply for a lack of fuel for its vehicles," Michel said in a statement.

"It is also unacceptable that public services, such as garbage collection, sewage treatment, or hospitals, are at the brink of collapse for the same reason.

"It's essential that the fuel supply to Gaza is resumed, and in particular that fuel provision for the U.N. agencies as well as basic services be guaranteed immediately," Michel said.

The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees warned aid distribution would end in the Gaza Strip Thursday unless Israel allows new fuel supplies.

U.N. officials said the U.N.'s Relief and Works Agency and the World Food Program, who together feed more than 1 million Gazans, would have to suspend aid distribution until they receive diesel for the trucks that deliver the food.

Israel, which maintains a punishing blockade on the impoverished Palestinian territory.

Michel stressed "humanitarian aid is neutral."

"It does not seek to confer any advantage on any party or imply any form of political recognition. Humanitarian relief work is about ensuring that a civilian population gets at least its basic needs met," he said.


Agencies
Last Mod: 24 Nisan 2008, 18:34
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