The United Nations has suspended its food distribution centres in Gaza, after protesters, angry at budget cuts, stormed one of its compounds.

It follows a series of violent protests throughout the week after the UN Relief and Works Agency suspended some of its cash handouts.

The UNRWA said the centres would stay closed until it received security assurances for its property and staff.

Hamas has called on the agency to resume operations and accused it of over-reacting.

UNRWA provides assistance in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Gaza and the West Bank to Palestinian refugees and their descendants.

Mr Turner said that despite the trimming of cash disbursements, UNRWA's food distribution in Gaza "will continue unchanged".

Gaza security officials had no immediate comment.

It is feared that the decision could exacerbate hardship caused by Israeli and Egyptian controls on Gaza's borders.