UN: Israel Has Given Us Enough Fuel for 20 More Days of Gaza Aid

Relief operation said Sun. that lack of fuel would force food distribution programs to be halted.

The United Nations relief operation in Gaza on Monday said it had received enough fuel from Israel to continue working for the next 20 days.

UN spokesman Chris Gunness stated it was a disgrace that his organization would be deprived of fuel. On Sunday he said tanks were empty.

Gaza residents rely on Israel for all their fuel. The Israel Defense Forces said it had to stop transferring fuel on Sunday after Palestinian militants attacked supply trucks.

On Sunday, UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) said the lack of fuel would force its food distribution programs to be halted on Monday, affecting some 650,000 people.

The Gaza fuel association said it went on strike to protest over Israel's supply limits which were cut back sharply after Palestinian militants attacked the Nahal Oz depot last month killing two Israeli civilians.

The economic situation has worsened since Hamas overran Gaza in June. In response to rocket attacks on Israeli border communities, Israel closed crossings, cutting off most supplies except for humanitarian necessities.

Israel stopped all supplies briefly last month after militants attacked the only fuel depot that supplies Gaza.

Meanwhile, Israel closed the Karni Gaza-Israel border crossing on Monday evening, after Gaza militants fired mortar shells on trucks bringing supplies into the coastal strip, according to Israel Radio.

The Israel Defense Forces will impose a full closure on the West Bank and Gaza beginning at midnight on Monday, scheduled to last through Memorial Day and Independence Day.

Gaza Smuggling tunnel collapses, killing Palestinian manPalestinian officials on Monday said two Gaza men were killed when a cross-border smuggling tunnel collapsed on them.

The Gaza Health Ministry said five other people were wounded in Monday's collapse. One body was found soon after the collapse and the other several hours later. Security officials said the tunnel was under construction at the time.

Such collapses are common along the Gaza Strip's border with Egypt. Smuggling tunnels in the area have become an important route for goods and a lucrative business.

Palestinian smugglers use the tunnels to move weapons and contraband into Gaza, Israel and Egypt are blockading the territory in an attempt to weaken the Hamas government and end the ongoing rocket fire at Israeli towns. The blockade has increased demand for smuggled goods.