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Iran Red Crescent readies aid for Gaza

Source: Press TV

Iran's Red Crescent is slated to deliver USD100,000 worth of emergency aid to the Gaza strip in the wake of the Israeli-imposed siege.

Red Crescent Secretary-General Ahmad Moussavi said Wednesday that a relief ship carrying some 1,000 tons of food, medical and emergency goods would depart for the coastal strip as early as next week.

"The cargo includes 500 tons of wheat, 200 tons of sugar, 200 tons of rice, 50 tons of cooking oil and 50 tons of medical supplies," said Moussavi.

Gaza has been faced with a humanitarian crisis ever since Israel imposed a blockade on the coastal strip in June 2007.

An estimated 70 percent of Gaza has experienced lengthy power outages as Tel Aviv cut off fuel supplies to the strip's only power plant. Hospitals must rely on generators to keep life-saving equipment running.

"We are unable to ensure that we have needed spare parts to provide heating for patients," said the head of the European Gaza Hospital's maintenance department, Nihad Swaty in November.

"We also have our own sewage processing plant to provide water. The current lack of equipment will lead to the plant's total collapse and consequently to an environmental crisis at the hospital itself," he added.

Moussavi said the lack of medical equipment and essential food items has unleashed chronic malnutrition in Gaza, which is taking a heavy toll on maternal and child health.

He added that it is highly likely for Israeli military forces to intercept the Iranian relief ship in the same manner they blocked a Libyan vessel en route to Gaza on Dec. 1.

Israel's interception of the Libyan cargo ship and 3,000 tons of humanitarian aid for Gazans, sparked Libya's fury at the UN Security Council.

Israel, however, said that because Libya does not recognize the regime, the move is completely justified on grounds of national security.

... Payvand News - 12/11/08 ... --

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