“Only a fully functioning Karni Crossing can avert looming humanitarian crisis”

Palestinians receive their monthly food supplies from the World Food Program at EU storage in Gaza City March 10, 2006. The Israeli army closed the Karni crossing which is the only supply line for the Gaza strip and the supplies has now run out and the people is facing starvation if the issue is not resolved. (MaanImages/Wesam Saleh)


The Director of UNRWA operations in Gaza, Mr. John Ging, stated that he was “struggling to be optimistic” upon his return from a visit to the “reopened” Karni commercial crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning. He explained that “the situation on the streets of Gaza was worse than it had been the day before, as the half hour opening of Karni on Monday afternoon had absolutely no impact on the developing humanitarian crisis.”

“I sincerely hope that today’s opening of Karni is the beginning of a return to normality; for Gazans, this is the first rationing of bread in living memory”, Ging said on Tuesday.

However, Ging also expressed his frustration with the fact that the crossing was only operating at 10% of its capacity after its opening on Tuesday and he called on all involved to open it up fully. “At 10% we are not even meeting today’s needs”, he said.

UNRWA has also run out of fuel in Gaza. “We are operating with what is left in the tanks of our cars”, Ging said. “Once we get the food in, we will need fuel to distribute it”. Again, he called on the Israeli and Palestinian authorities to “let the fuel in today”.

UNRWA is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

More Information

  • Adnan Abu-Hasna on +972(0)599428061 or Jamal Hamad on +972(0)599416877.

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