Wednesday, 5 May 2010

UN 'weighing all options' but denies plans to break Gaza siege

Outstanding humanitarian John Gint has apparently called for the UN to break the Gaza siege by delivering aid across sea, as the Free Gaza movement has done and the Viva Palestina flotilla plans to soon. The UN has been quick to distance the organisation from Gint's reported remarks to a Norwegian newspaper.
UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations said Tuesday it has no plans to break the Israeli sea blockade of the Gaza Strip but would weigh all legal options to deliver badly needed supplies to the besieged Palestinian population.

Farhan Haq, a UN spokesman, made the remarks to AFP in reaction to reported comments by John Ging, a top Gaza-based UN official, suggesting that the international community should look for ways to send aid ships to break the siege.

"The United Nations has no plans to use sea routes in Gaza, but will consider all legal options available to bring in assistance and commercial supplies," he noted.

Haq said the UN was working with the Israeli government to use land crossings.

"Some recent progress has been achieved in facilitating a number of priority UN projects and expanding the list of commercial goods allowed into Gaza," he added. "However, much more must be done to meet Gaza's urgent needs, and the UN will continue to press for this objective."

Ging, head of Gaza operations for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), reportedly told a Norwegian newspaper that the world should send ships to Gaza and suggested that Israeli authorities would not stop the vessels because the sea is open. more