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United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
14 July 2004
Press Release No. HQ/G/23/2004
14 July 2004
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
UNRWA DELIVERS FOOD FOR 20,000 PEOPLE IN BEIT HANOUN
– CONVOY COMES UNDER FIRE
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) today delivered 370 tons of food aid to the population of Beit Hanoun in the north of the Gaza Strip. The aid will provide food for approximately 20,000 persons, two-thirds of the population of the besieged town.
The residents of Beit Hanoun have been living under sever hardship since it was cut off from the rest of Gaza by the Israeli military on 28 June. Fresh food supplies have been running low, breadwinners have been unable to reach work and in areas water and electricity infrastructure have been destroyed by Israeli armour.
UNRWA delivered flour, oil, lentils, sugar rice and whole milk to the town in a convoy of 16 trucks that had been cleared for entry by the Israeli military.
After visiting the food distribution, Peter Hansen, UNRWA’s Commissioner-General, and UNRWA’s operations personnel visited some of the demolished areas on the outskirts of the town in a five-vehicle convoy clearly marked with UN flags and symbols.
Shortly after passing an Israeli armoured personnel carrier, the convoy stopped, 500m from the APC, to survey a citrus orchard that had been bulldozed by the Israeli military. At that point rapid firing appeared to come from the APC in the direction of the convoy. Hansen and the UNRWA personnel were forced to take cover in a nearby family home. After further coordination with the Israeli military liaison office, and a wait of 30 minutes, the convoy was able to leave the area.
For more information please call Paul McCann on 059 428 008 or Adnan Abu-Hasna on 059 428 061