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      United Nations: Stolen Goods Returned, Aid to Continue

      UNRWA rescinds threat to cut off aid to Gaza after Hamas returns stolen humanitarian goods.
      By Maayana Miskin
      First Publish: 2/9/2009, 6:49 PM

      Flash 90

      The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) announced Monday that Hamas terrorists had returned hundreds of tons of stolen food. The food was taken last week from humanitarian shipments intended to be distributed to civilians living in Gaza.

      UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said the agency would renew its various aid activities in Gaza following the return of the food. The agency threatened Friday to cut off aid due to the theft of the food and an earlier case of theft, in which Hamas stole thousands of blankets and hundreds of food baskets intended for needy Gaza civilians.

      Both thefts were carried out at gunpoint.

      The thefts earned a response from global UN head Ban Ki-Moon as well. Ban issued a statement calling on Hamas to return the stolen food and goods immediately.

      According to the IDF, Hamas stole food and supplies intended for needy civilians on several other occasions, but did not steal directly from UNRWA. In those cases, Hamas either commandeered the supplies for its own terrorist fighters or sold them.

      Hamas has also been accused of taking advantage of the UN presence in Gaza by using UN-run schools and other facilities to launch attacks on Israel.