On Wednesday an UN official said UN food aid is now being distributed to 900 000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of Israel's devastating military offensive in the territory, the AFP reported.

We have increased the numbers on our food distribution to 900 000 of the one million refugees here, said John Ging, who heads the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza.

All employees of the Palestinian Authority have been included because they are not getting the cash for their salaries; therefore they are not able to buy the food.

Aid was previously distributed by UNRWA to 750 000 people in Gaza, where local doctors said more than 1 300 people died in the 22-day offensive.

We are also distributing millions of dollars of cash assistance to those who have had their house damaged and need temporary shelters, Ging told a press conference.

According to Ging, the situation in Gaza is very desperate, the city is damaged and destroyed, there is no economy and many people are now depending on aid.

He renewed US, UN and Palestinian calls for Israel to open the crossing points into Gaza to more international aid and to building materials to kick-start reconstruction.