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

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.


Car bomb targeting Turkish contractors explodes in town outside Somali capital

Updated 58 min 5 sec ago

Car bomb targeting Turkish contractors explodes in town outside Somali capital

  • “A speeding suicide car bomb rammed into a place where the Turkish engineers and Somali police were having lunch,” an officer said
  • It was not know who carried out the attack but residents and police said Al-Shabab fighters had tried to attack Afgoye on Friday

MOGADISHU: A car bomb targeting a group of Turkish contractors exploded on Saturday in Afgoye, northwest of the Somali capital Mogadishu, police said.
There was no immediate word on any fatalities.
“A speeding suicide car bomb rammed into a place where the Turkish engineers and Somali police were having lunch,” police officer Nur Ali told Reuters from Afgoye.
It was not know who carried out the attack but residents and police said Al-Shabab fighters had tried to attack Afgoye, about 30 km from Mogadishu, late on Friday and were repulsed.
The Al-Qaeda-linked militant group has claimed responsibility for past attacks in its campaign to overturn Somalia’s UN-backed government.
“We heard a huge blast and soon clouds of smoke into the air. Before the blast, several Turkish engineers and well armed convoy of Somali police were at the scene,” Farah Abdullahi, a shopkeeper, told Reuters from Afgoye.
“We see casualties being carried but we cannot make if they are dead or injured.”
Since a 2011 famine in Somalia, Turkey has been a major source of aid to the country as Ankara seeks to increase its influence in the Horn of Africa in contest with Gulf rivals like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Turkish engineers are helping with road construction in Somalia. A group of engineers was among those hit in late December in a blast at a checkpoint in Mogadishu that killed at least 90 people.