UN: Gaza fading fast; Rice: It's Hamas' fault

Monday, December 17, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a Paris gathering of nations committed to financially supporting the Palestinian cause on Monday that without an increase in international humanitarian aid, the impoverished Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip is headed for a crash.

Ban suggested that a further worsening of conditions in Gaza would result in even more Palestinian terrorism. As in previous statements by other international figures, the UN chief appeared to be blaming Israel's blockade of the coastal territory for security reasons for the dire situation.

But during her flight to join other world leaders at the donors conference in the French capital, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told reporters traveling with her that Hamas alone is to blame for Gaza's appalling circumstances.

Hamas' anti-Israel policies and support for and practice of terrorism are the direct cause of the situation in Gaza, said Rice.

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