Truckloads of goods enter Gaza from Israel UN reports

2 November 2009The Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO) reports that nearly 80 truckloads of goods entered Gaza from Israel yesterday through the Kerem Shalom crossing. The Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO) reports that nearly 80 truckloads of goods entered Gaza from Israel yesterday through the Kerem Shalom crossing.The majority of the trucks contained fruit, cooking oil, dairy products, flour, frozen meat, tea and coffee.More than 100,000 kilograms of cooking gas also made it into Gaza through Kerem Shalom, UNSCO noted. However, the Karni conveyor belt and the Nahal Oz fuel pipelines remained closed.The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned in a report released in September that the ongoing Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip, now in its third year, has triggered a “protracted human dignity crisis” with negative humanitarian consequences.“At the heart of this crisis is the degradation in the living conditions of the population, caused by the erosion of livelihoods and the gradual decline in the state of infrastructure, and the quality of vital services in the areas of health, water and sanitation, and education,” stated the report, entitled “Locked In: The Humanitarian Impact of Two Years of Blockade on the Gaza Strip.” The blockade, imposed following the Hamas takeover of Gaza in June 2007, includes the closure of Karni, one of the largest and best equipped commercial crossings; sweeping restrictions on the import of industrial, agricultural and construction materials; the suspension of almost all exports; and a general ban on the movement of Palestinians through Erez, the only passenger crossing to the West Bank. read more

John Constable sketches found among box of dusty drawings by son of

A dusty cardboard-box filled with drawings in unprepossessing 1950s frames brought in to a London auctioneer has turned out to contain two previously-unpublished studies by John Constable, the great 19th-century master.The drawings belong to Tam Fry, the son of the late playwright Christopher Fry, who was in the process of clearing out and selling the family home.Mr Fry, 81, told the Sunday Telegraph: “We thought they were beautiful, but we never realised they were Constable… To be told the provenance is unbelievable.”Suzanne Zack, head of British and European Art at Chiswick Auctions, spoke of her excitement over finding two pen-and-ink studies of a woodland glade by the genius who painted masterpieces such as The Hay Wain.She said: “These things were covered in dust, and hadn’t been researched at all.”She subsequently showed them to Anne Lyles, the leading Constable expert and former Tate curator, who describes them as “exciting” discoveries, “small compositional drawings in pen, ink and wash which can be dated to Constable’s late period”. The drawings will be offered in the forthcoming British & European Fine Art sale on March 6 at Chiswick Auctions They are thought to be Constable’s early thoughts in illustrating the scene of Jaques and the Wounded Stag from Shakespeare’s As You Like It. He produced various designs as one of the artists commissioned to illustrate The Seven Ages of Shakespeare, a compendium published in 1840.The drawings are small – just 2½ x 3¼ inches (83 x 64 mm) and 1 13/16 x 3 inches (77 x 47 mm) respectively.Zack said: “What’s amazing is that, in a few pen-and-ink marks with brown wash, he creates the light and shade of a composition. You can see that he did it quickly and drew a little frame around it… It shows his brilliance – how quickly they were done, but also how he was able to create a real composition in a tiny format.”Asked how unusual it is to find previously-unknown Constable sketches, she said: “They are very scarce.”Fry, who died in 2005 aged 97, made his name in the 1940s with The Lady’s Not for Burning and Venus Observed. As one of the foremost playwrights of the English stage, his productions drew great actors, including Laurence Olivier.The drawings will be offered in the forthcoming British & European Fine Art sale on March 6 at Chiswick Auctions. Believed to have been bought in 1951 for £3, they are estimated to fetch between £5,000 and £8,000 each.      Tam Fry, who chairs the National Obesity Forum, joked: “{My father] would have said ‘they are now going to be the property of people who really do value the items’… [He] had a great sense of humour. He would have said, ‘what a pity my pig-ignorant son didn’t understand [them]’. He would have found that very amusing.” The drawings will be offered in the forthcoming British & European Fine Art sale on March 6 at Chiswick AuctionsCredit:Chiswick Auctions Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more