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Gaza needs 5,000 tons of wheat to mitigate bread shortage
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21:34, December 22, 2008

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Palestinian people on Monday waited in queues outside bakeries in the Gaza Strip which is running out of flour due to Israeli blockade.

To overcome the crisis, Abdel Dayem Awad, owner of al-Salam grinder, said Israel must provide Gaza Strip with 5,000 tons of wheat every day to enable most of the bakeries and the mills to run.

The crisis started as six flour mills announced they have shut down since last Thursday.

Israel restored restrictions on the Gaza Strip since early November after an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire was rocked by the resumption of cross-border violence between Palestinian militants and Israeli forces. The ceasefire ended without renewing on Friday.

Awad said his firm used to provide flour for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) which distributes it to 750,000 Palestinian refugees out of Gaza's 1.5-million population.

The UNRWA has stopped food distributions in its centers across Gaza Strip due to the empty stock of food aid.

Israel allowed several convoys of aid into Gaza in recent weeks but the UNRWA said the amount fell short of daily distributions.

On Monday morning, an Islamic Hamas movement spokesman announced that Hamas and Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip accepted a 24-hour ceasefire with Israel to allow Egyptian food aids into Gaza.

Source: Xinhua

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