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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
20 June 2008



UN HUMANITARIAN CHIEF WELCOMES ISRAEL/GAZA CESSATION OF VIOLENCE

(New York, 20 June, 2008): The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has welcomed the announced Israel/Gaza Cessation of Violence.

“This development offers particular hope for the ordinary people of Gaza, who have so far borne the brunt of the problems, but also for people in southern Israel,” said John Holmes, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. “I hope that this halt to the violence will result in rapid improvement of the humanitarian situation in Gaza, and in a sustained opening of the Gaza crossings for both humanitarian and commercial purposes,” he emphasized.

The humanitarian situation in Gaza had seriously deteriorated over the last year, after Hamas took control of the area by force, and Israel subsequently imposed severe restrictions on the entry and exit of goods to and from Gaza. The lack of raw materials and the inability to export goods almost totally paralysed economic activity and increased dependence on aid.

UN agencies currently provide assistance to 76% of the households in Gaza.



For further information, please call: Stephanie Bunker, OCHA-New York, +1 917 367367 5126, mobile +1 917 892 1679; John Nyaga, OCHA-NY, + 1 917 367 9262; Elisabeth Byrs, OCHA-Geneva, +41 22 917 2653, mobile, +41 79 473 4570.
OCHA press releases are available at http://ochaonline.un.org or www.reliefweb.int.

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