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UN presses for fuel supplies to Gaza

From NBC's Libby Leist
Top U.N. aid officials briefed reporters at United Nations headquarters in New York this afternoon about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

John Holmes, U.N. Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said that no fuel supplies have entered Gaza in the past few days and that the main Gaza power plant was shut down yesterday.

Holmes said the United Nations has been asking Israelis to allow fuel supplies to resume. Israelis argue that there are security threats around the pipeline crossing that prevent them from allowing supplies into Gaza.

Pressing for the Israelis to allow fuel in tomorrow, Holmes noted that a power plant on the Egyptian side will not provide sufficient power for the population of Gaza.

Officials said the UN is sending through truckloads of candles because there is so little power in Gaza. The last delivery of fuel through the Nahal Oz terminal into Gaza was December 26th. It has been cut off since then. The fuel shortage affects 650,000 people in Central and Northern Gaza. This has resulted in 16 hours or more of powercuts every day.