Gaza running out of fuel, medicine — UN

The UN has raised concern over a ‘dangerously short supply of essential medicines’ after 40 percent of the stocks of drugs were completely depleted. (AFP)
Updated 23 August 2018
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Gaza running out of fuel, medicine — UN

UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations has run out of funding to pay for fuel needed for hospitals, water plants and other critical facilities in the Gaza Strip, the UN political chief said Wednesday.
Rosemary Di Carlo also told the Security Council that recent violent escalations between Israel and Palestinian militants “threatened to plunge Gaza into war.”
The Security Council held its monthly meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the United Nations was working with Egypt to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and halt the violence.
Di Carlo said she was “deeply concerned that funding for UN emergency fuel, which sustains some 250 critical facilities in Gaza has now run out” and appealed for $4.5 million to ensure essential services for the rest of the year.
The UN undersecretary-general for political affairs also raised concern over a “dangerously short supply of essential medicines” after 40 percent of the stocks of drugs were completely depleted.
Gaza has seen a surge of violence since Palestinian protests that began in March have been met with Israeli fire, killing 171 Palestinians.
Israel has carried out strikes in Gaza at least 125 times in response to rocket attacks fired toward Israeli towns and cities.
UN envoy Nickolay Mladenov and Egyptian officials have been seeking to broker a truce between Israel and Hamas, which rules Gaza. The two sides have fought three wars since 2008.
Israeli media have speculated that a deal could entail easing Israel’s crippling blockade of Gaza in exchange for calm on the border and the return of the bodies of two soldiers killed in 2014.
Israel is also seeking the return of two Israeli citizens believed held by Hamas.
Di Carlo called “on all parties” to ensure that humanitarian aid reaches Gaza and urged Hamas to provide information on Israeli nationals held in the strip.


US Senate lets $300m arms sale to Bahrain proceed

Senate Democrat Bob Menendez said Bahrain’s “willingness to host our naval forces also places Bahrain at greater risk from attack from Iran and terrorist groups seeking to do harm to the United States.” (AFP)
Updated 12 min 34 sec ago
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US Senate lets $300m arms sale to Bahrain proceed

  • Critics of the bill warned that punishment of Bahrain would be misplaced, especially as 7,800 US military personnel are deployed there on a base that hosts the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet

WASHINGTON: The US Senate has rejected a long-shot effort to block $300 million in arms sales to Bahrain, as the bill’s opponents stressed the island nation was a critical ally hosting an American naval base.
The effort, led by Republican Senator Rand Paul, failed as the US Senate voted 77 to 21 to table the measure, essentially killing it.
Critics of the bill warned that punishment of Bahrain would be misplaced, especially as 7,800 US military personnel are deployed there on a base that hosts the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, which helps protect American interests in the region. Bahrain is strategically located between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Senate Democrat Bob Menendez said Bahrain’s “willingness to host our naval forces also places Bahrain at greater risk from attack from Iran and terrorist groups seeking to do harm to the United States.”
Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, the committee chairman, said Bahrain is home to a naval base with 7,800 US service members protecting American interests and serving as a buffer against the Iranian regime.
He said that blocking an arms sale to an ally over “something that has nothing to do with them, but has something to do with another country is not a pragmatic, nor a sensible step.”