Hamas says it seized Jordan aid to keep it safe
Palestine-Jordan, Politics, 2/12/2008
Hamas government in Gaza acknowledged on Saturday that they had seized 16 trucks of aid supplies from Jordan to keep it safe from Palestine Authority.
Hamas government's Social Affairs Minister Ziad Zaza said that the government will hand it over to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees.
He said that Hamas wanted to prevent the aid supplies from falling into the hands of the Palestinian Red Crescent, which operates under the Palestine Authority led by Mahmud Abbas.
"This sort of aid never reached the Palestinian people in the past but was instead monopolized by a single party," al-Zaza said.
Zaza said that Hamas had secured Jordanian agreement to hand over the supplies to UNRWA.
Israel imposed a complete lockdown on the Gaza Strip on January 17 blocking even fuel, foods and medicines.
But in a population of 1.5 million that is largely dependent on foreign aid without any independent income, many families remain desperately short of basic goods.
Jordan said on Saturday the Islamist Palestinian group Hamas has confiscated a convoy of humanitarian aid sent to people living under an Israeli blockade in the Gaza Strip.
Minister of State for Information Affairs Nasser Joudeh said Hamas government on Thursday seized 16 trucks carrying emergency supplies into Gaza.
"We are surprised it should be confiscated and distributed in a manner based on political considerations...this only penalizes those who really deserve this aid," Joudeh said.
Israel occupied the Gaza Strip in 1967 and pulled troops and settlers out in 2005 but still controls its northern and eastern borders, airspace and coastal waters.
Jordan, which has seen an outpouring of popular sympathy with the plight of Gazans, has been alarmed by Israel's blockade of the impoverished area which it fears broadens the popularity of Hamas among a majority of poor Jordanians.
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