Middle East News
UN agency chief: Services restored despite uncertainty in Gaza
Jun 18, 2007, 11:55 GMT
Amman - The commissioner general of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) said Monday in Jordan that humanitarian operations had been entirely restored in the Gaza Strip after a partial suspension following the Hamas-Fatah fighting.
'I am delighted to announce that we are now operating in Gaza as we did before the recent violence,' Karen Abuzayd told the UNRWA advisory commission that concluded a two-day meeting at a resort on the Dead Sea.
'UNRWA is working at full capacity once again, delivering services to a population that has been so badly affected by chronic insecurity,' she said.
She pointed out that the agency was obliged to suspend temporarily all its services except the emergency health and food programmes following the killing of two of its staffers last week.
Hamas took over the territory after driving out the fighters of the rival Fatah group and said that it was taking strict measures to restore security and end the prolonged state of anarchy.
'I remain cautious but I am pleased that the security situation is returning to a point where we can get on with our job,' the UNRWA chief said.
'However, I am painfully aware of the potential threat to my staff on the ground and I am keeping the security situation under constant review,' she added.
Responding to a reporter's question, Abuzayd said that she was not aware of any Israeli plans to withhold fuel and food supplies from the Gaza Strip, but warned the Israeli authorities against such moves.
The UNRWA advisory committee, which includes representatives for host and donor countries, was meeting in Jordan to assess the challenges facing the agency created in 1949 to look after Palestinians who deserted their homes following Israel's foundation in 1948.© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur