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UN Aid Convoy Arrives in Gaza From Egypt

Geneva

A United Nations humanitarian aid convoy crossed into Gaza from Egypt today for the first time since a blockade was introduced on the territory in 2007.

The World Food Programme (WFP) said the convoy, which entered Gaza through the Rafah crossing, carried enough food to last 150,000 people for five days.

The delivery follows 50 days of the deadliest violence in a decade between Hamas and Israel, which appears to have ended after a new long-term ceasefire was reached yesterday.

"It is extremely important that we have access to the Gaza Strip to ensure a constant flow of humanitarian supplies to meet the growing needs of the people affected by the recent violence," said Mohamed Diab, WFP Regional Director for the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and East Europe.

The convoy was carrying 15,650 food parcels, including ready-to-eat canned meat, canned beans, tea and dates, according to a statement from the UN agency in Geneva.

Another 10,000 parcels are to be delivered in the next few days.

Since the violence began in July, WFP has provided daily food rations to around 350,000 people in Gaza.

The organisation said it needs around USD 70 million (50 million euros) to continue its mission for the next three months.

Under the ceasefire deal reached yesterday, Israel will ease restrictions on the entry of goods, humanitarian aid and construction materials into Gaza.

Ending the blockade had been a key Palestinian demand in truce talks, with Hamas hailing the agreement as a "victory for the resistance".

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PLACES: IsraelPalestineEgyptGaza
SECTION: International
OUTLOOK 27 August, 2014
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