Agreement Reached on U.N. Resolution Calling for Mideast Cease-Fire
By Colum Lynch, Craig Whitlock and Griff Witte
Earlier, the United Nations said it was indefinitely suspending all humanitarian aid deliveries in the Gaza Strip, citing a series of Israeli attacks on U.N. facilities and personnel during the 13-day Israeli offensive.
The suspension appeared likely to deepen a sense of crisis in Gaza, where more than half the territory’s 1.5 million people live on food aid from the United Nations and where water, power and cooking gas are all in short supply.
The decision came after a convoy of three U.N. vehicles was fired upon Thursday by Israeli forces during a mission to recover the body of a U.N. worker who had been killed in a previous Israeli attack, according to United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) spokesman Chris Gunness. He said three U.N. workers have been killed by Israeli fire and that aid will not resume until “the Israeli army can guarantee the safety and security of U.N. personnel.”
In a separate incident Thursday morning, a humanitarian convoy came under small-arms fire shortly after it crossed into Gaza near the Erez crossing, leaving one Palestinian driver dead and two other people seriously wounded, U.N. officials said. They said the attack occurred just minutes after Israeli forces gave the United Nations assurances that it was safe to travel. Despite the assurances that the United Nations could safely escort the convoy, it came under fire about half a mile from the border, officials said.
Gunness accused Israel of “deliberately targeting” aid workers. He said the locations of U.N. facilities and the movements of its workers are communicated to the Israeli military.