Page last updated at 12:19 GMT, Monday, 24 November 2008

Blockaded Gaza gets some supplies

Palestinian man carrying UN aid - photo 17 November
Aid was allowed in to Gaza once before but Israel later closed the crossings

Israel has temporarily re-opened a border crossing with the Gaza Strip to allow in essential supplies of food.

It has also allowed delivery, through a pipe line, of diesel fuel for Gaza's only power plant.

It is only the second time in three weeks that Israel has permitted aid deliveries into the territory.

It tightened its blockade of the Hamas-controlled territory earlier in November after rocket attacks by Palestinian militants.

The militants said their attacks, which caused minor damage but no serious injuries, were in retaliation for an Israeli army raid into Gaza.

UN officials say Gaza is facing a humanitarian catastrophe, and have urged Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to ease the blockade.

'Minimum impact'

Israel allowed at least 40 lorryloads of humanitarian aid and other goods into Gaza via the Kerem Shalom crossing point.

Gaza map

Shipments were last allowed on 17 November, also for a single day.

Future aid shipments depended on whether cross-border violence could be curbed, Israeli officials said.

But aid workers in the territory said the deliveries would have a minimum impact as reserves were already so depleted, and they needed a steady supply of aid to alleviate the shortages.

"It is just not enough," said United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) spokesman Christopher Gunness, quoted by Reuters news agency.

The Israeli authorities also opened the Nahal Oz terminal for the delivery of fuel to Gaza's power plant, for the first time since the blockade was intensified on 4 November.

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