United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East 14 July 2004
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 severe 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.
URNWA 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 appreared 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, he convoy was able to leave the area.