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Fuel shortage forces UN to halt food handouts in Gaza
Rory McCarthy, Guardian
· Up to 800,000 to lose aid due to blockade
· Israel cut supplies after killings at border crossings
The UN is to halt food handouts for up to 800,000 Palestinians from today because of a severe fuel shortage in Gaza brought on by an Israeli economic blockade.
John Ging, the director of operations in Gaza for the UN Relief and Works Agency, which supports Palestinian refugees, said there had been a “totally inadequate” supply of fuel from Israel to Gaza for 10 months until it was finally halted two weeks ago. “The devastating humanitarian impact is entirely predictable,” he said.
A shortage of diesel and petrol means UN food assistance to 650,000 Palestinian refugees will stop today, and aid from the World Food Programme for another 127,000 Palestinians due in the coming days will also be halted. “The collective punishment of the population of Gaza, which has been instituted for months now, has failed,” said Robert Serry, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East. Last year, after Hamas seized full control of Gaza, Israel imposed an economic blockade, preventing exports and allowing in only limited supplies of food, fuel and aid. It halted supplies of fuel for transport two weeks ago after militants attacked a fuel crossing and killed two Israeli workers. Thirteen Israeli soldiers were injured in an attack on Saturday at a crossing
(24 April 2008)
Related from Haaretz: Israel claims Hamas causing fake fuel shortage in Strip.
Interview with Morales of Bolivia (transcript, audio, video)
Evo Morales and Juan Gonzalez, Democracy Now
“Welcome to the Axis of Evil”-Bolivian President Evo Morales to Paraguayan President-Elect Fernando Lugo
Bolivian President Evo Morales came to New York this week to deliver the keynote address at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Morales became Bolivia’s first indigenous president when he was elected in 2005 with more popular support than any Bolivian leader in decades.
Democracy Now! co-host Juan Gonzalez had a chance to sit down with President Morales at the Bolivian mission in New York for an interview. Morales discusses issues of world hunger, biofuels and climate change, relations with Paraguayan President-Elect Fernando Lugo, his push to introduce a new constitution in Bolivia, his accyusations that the US ambassador is leading a conspiracy against his government, his thoughts on the US presidential elections, and more. [includes rush transcript] (24 April 2008)
After the interview, journalist Juan Gonzalez mentioned that the visit of the Bolivian President had received little attention in the U.S. media. -BA
Bolivian President Evo Morales’ 10 commandments to save the planet, life and humanity
Evo Morales, United Nations Economic and Social Council via Znet
… He said indigenous peoples wanted to express “how to live well” within their vision of Mother Earth, which was the source of life. Living well was not possible under the current capitalist system, which sought to turn Mother Earth into a capitalist good. The conclusion had been reached in many circles that the authorities of many places were to be blamed for encouraging climactic factors that caused harm to peoples, which had brought floods and global warming. A conversation must be held with other communities on establishing a new model for living. World leaders must encourage more contact with indigenous peoples.
He offered a series of “ten commandments” that he thought should underpin the new model …
1-Acabar con el sistema capitalista
1-Stopping the capitalist system
2-Renunciar a las guerras
3-Un mundo sin imperialismo ni colonialismo
3-A world without imperialism or colonialism
4-Derecho al agua
4-Right to water
5-Desarrollo de energías limpias
5-Development of clean energies
6-Respeto a la madre tierra
6-Respect for Mother Earth
7-Servicios básicos como derechos humanos
7-Basic services as human rights
8-Combatir las desigualdades
9-Promover la diversidad de culturas y economías
9-Promoting diversity of cultures and economies
10-Vivir bien, no vivir mejor a costa del otro
10-Living well, not living better at the expense of others
(24 April 2008)
Original at the UN Economic and Social Council