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OCHA concerned over restrictions on Gaza crossings, border tunnels
OCHA concerned over restrictions on Gaza crossings, border tunnels
Truckloads entering into the Gaza Strip via the sole Israel-controlled commercial crossing
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Gaza, ALRAY - The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is very concerned about tightened security measures and restrictions on the Rafah crossing and tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, a UN spokesman said Friday.

"The restrictions have resulted in delays for students and patients seeking urgent medical treatment, and shortages of construction materials, fuel and medical supplies," Farhan Haq, the associate UN spokesman, said at a daily news briefing here.

"Thousands of Palestinians are stranded on both sides of the border," he said.

"Local sources indicate that, for the second successive week, fewer than 10 tunnels are operational, compared to around 50 during previous weeks and an estimated 300 before the imposition of the current measures," he said. "The crackdown has also caused chronic shortages of fuel."

OCHA called for the opening of all crossings to legitimate imports and exports and movement of civilians, Haq said.

Rafah is Gaza's main gateway to the world while other crossings and transit points on the border with Israel are subject to strict restrictions, which Israel says are for security reasons.

Israeli occupation has been tightening the Gaza crossings since it imposed a blockade on the Hamas-led government after it the movement won the 2006 legislative elections.