Accessibility links

Breaking News

UN Aid Agency to Resume Full Services in Gaza 'Soon'

The Director of the U.N.'s agency for Palestinian refugees John Ging said UNRWA will soon resume its work in the Gaza Strip, after it suspended efforts Thursday, after the driver of an aid truck was killed by Israeli fire.

"It is the product of a very intensive day of diplomatic negotiations at the highest levels of U.N. representation here and also the Israeli authorities. What it means, in effect, is that as soon as practical we will resume our operations. What we had called for were credible assurances. The credibility attaches in this case from the level that the assurances flow - the very highest level of government in Israel. That will be taken at face value as it is given in good faith, it will be taken in good faith," he said.

Ging said his agency is willing to take reasonable risks encountered in a combat zone, but that recent incidents, including Israeli strikes on several U.N.-run schools and on the U.N. aid convoy were unacceptable. He has said previously that the movement of the convoy had been coordinated in advance with the Israeli military and that they knew the coordinates of all U.N. facilities.

In a statement, the United Nations said it was informed by Israeli authorities that they "deeply regretted" the incidents that led to the aid operation suspension and that they do not reflect official government policy.

The U.N. said it received "credible assurances" that the security of U.N. personnel, installations and humanitarian operations would be fully respected.

UNRWA feeds 750,000 Palestinian refugees in Gaza.

Late Thursday, the U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, but so far both Israel and Hamas have rejected the demand.