17 December 2008 – All crossings for goods going from Israel into the Gaza Strip, home to 1.5 million Palestinians, are closed today, the United Nations reported.
No fuel, humanitarian supplies or commercial commodities are being allowed in, according to the Office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO).
UNSCO also noted that the Gaza power plant is operating with limited output, resulting in continued power cuts in Gaza City and elsewhere.
Israel closed border crossings into Gaza at the beginning of November citing rocket and other attacks by militants in the area against civilian targets in Israel as the reason.
Speaking to reporters in New York today, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the humanitarian suffering of the people of Gaza has been “one of my top concerns.”
Mr. Ban, who has condemned rocket attacks by Palestinian militants in Gaza against Israeli civilian targets, added that he understood the “legitimate” concerns of the Israeli Government and people for security and safety.
Nevertheless, “the security concern should not give any reason to neglect or abuse the humanitarian situation… and human rights,” he noted.