U.N. to transfer flotilla aid to Gaza


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The United Nations will handle the transfer to Gaza of humanitarian aid brought to Israel after Israel intercepted a flotilla that tried to breach its maritime blockade.

The U.N. agreed to transfer the flotilla’s goods to the coastal strip and said its agencies would make sure they are used only for humanitarian aid operations, the Israel Defense Forces said Tuesday. 

The transfer procedures of the humanitarian aid, which includes medicine, food and clothing, will be determined by the coordinator of government activities in the territories and the U.N., according to the IDF.

Hamas has refused the delivery of the aid from Israel for the past two weeks, since Israel unloaded the cargo from the six flotilla ships in Ashdod port. Much of the aid goods are sitting on trucks at the Kerem Shalom crossing.

Before the arrival of the flotilla, Israel had offered Turkey and the United Nations to bring the aid to the Ashdod port for inspection and then transfer it to Gaza. 

The IDF did not mention the cement and building materials that were said to be part of the flotilla’s cargo and which have been banned from Gaza, since they could be used to build bunkers and other military installations.

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