The UN says Israel has kept a commercial crossing into the besieged Gaza Strip shut for the seventh straight day, raising serious concerns over shortage of essential supplies in the besieged coastal enclave.
The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides aid to more than two thirds of Gaza’s population of 1.5 million, says more than 172 truckloads of essential materials are waiting to cross into the impoverished sliver, Reuters reported Tuesday.
The UNRWA, which sends about 20 truckloads of basic goods into Gaza every day, says a shortage of supplies in the strip is looming.
Christopher Gunness, a spokesman for UNRWA, says he was "extremely worried" that essential supplies may run out in the blockaded region.
Meanwhile, the Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights has warned that there is a lack of 150 types of basic medicines in the coastal enclave.
Gaza at its southernmost point shares a border crossing with Egypt, Rafah, but commercial goods are brought in only via a terminal controlled by Israel.
Tel Aviv has been recurrently bombarding Gaza ever since its 22-day war on the impoverished enclave in December 2008 and January 2009, which killed more than 1,400 Palestinians and inflicted a damage of $1.6 billion on the region’s already-stagnant economy.
The Israeli hostility rages on while Tel Aviv refuses to lift an all-out blockade it imposed on Gaza in mid-June 2007 in cooperation with the recently ousted regime of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak.
The siege has deprived the Gaza population of food, fuel and medicine, triggering stunted growth and malnutrition among most Palestinian children.