Israel re-opens Gaza humanitarian link

By Agencies
December 26, 2008

Following widespread international criticism, Israel has re-opened crossings into the Gaza Strip to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Shipments had been blocked for over a week, causing huge suffering to the Palestinian population.

Israeli officials said today that Defence Minister Ehud Barak took the decision after talks with security chiefs and requests from international agencies.

Around 80 trucks with supplies such as medicine, food and other goods are expected to cross by the end of the day.

The move comes after Israeli warnings to Palestinian militants in Gaza to stop their rocket attacks on Israel.

Some 50 rockets have been launched from Gaza in recent days, following the killing of three Hamas members by Israel.

A six-month ceasefire in Gaza between Israel and Hamas ended last week.

Unitee Nations officials have warned that the Hamas-controlled territory is facing a humanitarian catastrophe, reports the BBC.

Four out of five Gazans are dependent on food aid and the UN warehouses there are now empty. The UN says the deliveries fall far short of what is needed.

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