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Daily Archives: January 19, 2008

NPC deputies

 Image  The last day of the nomination period of the Macau SAR deputies to
the 11th Nation People’s Congress (NPC) ended yesterday with only three
nominees submitting application forms to the electoral office yesterday to the electoral
office located in the Xinhua building in Nape.

UN appeals to Israel to lift Gaza lockdown

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees yesterday appealed to Israel to lift its lockdown of Gaza and open crossings into the impoverished territory where most of the residents depend on food aid."It is imperative that these crossings are opened so that the dire situation in Gaza does not deteriorate further, inflicting further misery on one and half million people" who live there, Christopher Gunness, the spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), said.He spoke a day after Israel imposed a shutdown of Gaza amid an escalation of violence around the territory where the Islamist Hamas violently seized power seven months ago.Since Tuesday more than 30 people, mostly militants, have been killed in Israeli raids in Gaza and some 150 rockets and mortars have been fired from the territory into the Jewish state.In announcing the closure of all border crossings late on Thursday, a defence ministry official said it would remain in effect for several days.An army spokesman said yesterday that the closure did not affect humanitarian aid destined for the impoverished territory. But Gunness said UNRWA was unable to get trucks carrying its supplies into Gaza."All crossings are closed. None of UNRWA's supplies are going through, nothing is going through," Gunness said."The increasing isolation of Gaza will only lead to the further radicalisation of its demoralised population," he said."Things are so desperate in Gaza that there is no cement for making graves so people are hacking up the roads to try and acquire building materials for burial rites," he said. "Hospitals are giving out sheets because there simply aren't enough shrouds."Palestinians even in death are affected by this shut-down."

Before Friday, UNRWA was every day delivering up to 20 trucks filled with basic food aid into the coastal territory, one of the most densely populated places on earth.