Israeli army destroys UN food aid in Gaza Strip

03 December 2002

Relations between the Israeli army and the UN further soured on 2 December when the army destroyed a building containing hundreds of tonnes of food aid destined for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said in a statement that he was 'extremely concerned', and that the Israelis had an obligation to facilitate the work of humanitarian agencies in the Palestinian territories. The army claimed that suspected militants were sheltering in the building and that they were unaware it contained World Food Programme (WFP) supplies: WFP representatives said the UN flag was flying and that the containers were clearly marked.

The incident follows the killing on 22 November by Israeli troops of a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) official. He was shot in the West Bank, as the army targeted Palestinians said to be hiding in the UNRWA compound (MEED 25:11:02). Kofi Annan demanded that the army conduct an inquiry and punish those responsible.

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