The United Nations will suspend its food distribution to half of Gaza’s 1.5 million people on Thursday after Israel blocked humanitarian supplies into the Palestinian territory, a spokesman said. Israel also prevented shipments of European Union-funded fuel to the territory’s sole power plant. Palestinian officials said the facility would be shut down later in the day.
“They have told us the crossings are closed today. At the end of today we will suspend our food distribution,” said UN Relief and Works Agency spokesman Chris Gunness.
“Our warehouses are empty and our food distribution to 750,000 people will be suspended if we cannot get food in,” said Gunness.
Some 1.5 million people live in the Gaza Strip.
Gunness said Israeli officials were non-committal about allowing in supplies on Friday. The crossings are generally closed mid-day Friday through Sunday.
The agency said distribution to Gazans would have to stop on Thursday night because supplies would have run out.
UNRWA head Karen AbuZayd told Reuters in an interview in Brussels she was worried Israel was narrowing the criteria for humanitarian aid and that certain items, including some school supplies, would be excluded from future shipments.
Palestinian fighters fired several rockets at southern Israel earlier on Thursday, causing no casualties, the army said, a day after Israeli soldiers killed four Hamas fighters during a raid into the Gaza Strip.
Israel has not allow the U.N. and other agencies to bring supplies into the Gaza Strip since Nov. 4, when its troops raided the Gaza territory.
The ceasefire, which began in June, calls on both sides to stop conflict and on Israel to ease the Gaza siege.
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