GAZA CITY, JAN. 16 -- United Nations officials announced today that starting Sunday they will station food trucks permanently outside all eight Gaza Strip refugee camps to dramatize repeated, but allegedly unkept, Israeli promises to lift the curfew affecting nearly a quarter-million Palestinians.

Announcing the decisions to keep the vehicles there "until they let us in," Angela J. Williams, acting director of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency serving 240,000 Gaza refugees, said that Israeli military officials in charge of Gaza's civil administration had given assurances "that we would have access to the camps. But in actual practice," she said in an interview, "we have each day run into obstructions that have frustrated delivering the emergency assistance" designed to extend a children's supplementary food program and to maintain other medical, educational and sanitation services.

Describing the situation as "critical" in some areas, she mentioned two camps where the curfew has been enforced "for over a week" and where shops have closed or not been replenished or where refugees have not been allowed out to shop.

"I do think people are very hungry. They are asking for assistance. So hunger yes, starvation no," Williams said.

"We are going to have vehicles with food outside each camp until they {the Israelis} let us in," she added. "We should quietly and patiently and persistently inch our way forward."

Israeli officials in Gaza were not available for comment, as today was the Jewish Sabbath.

Williams' stand, unusually outspoken for an UNRWA official, reflected growing desperation, informed sources said, with Israel's "iron fist" policy, which to many Gazans seems designed to break their general strike and starve the besieged camps into submission after six weeks of protests against Israel's 20-year occupation here and in the West Bank.

{Israeli troops fired rubber bullets to disperse hundreds of Palestinians crowding around U.N. Undersecretary General Marrack Goulding during a visit to Balata refugee camp in the West Bank Saturday. Some of the rubber bullets landed near Goulding, but an aide said that "there was never any danger" to him, The Associated Press reported.}

In ordering a curfew on Maghazi camp as of yesterday, Israel for the first time since occupying the narrow strip in 1967 has effectively bottled up the entire refugee population here.

A further 440,000 Palestinians live outside the camps, while 2,500 Israeli settlers control a third of the cramped land.

"Most services are unable to function," an UNRWA source said, with one camp deprived of water for five days and medical care, garbage collection, schools and special feeding programs at a standstill.

Relief workers reported a pattern of Israeli mistreatment of camp residents, with security forces systematically breaking into and damaging homes, and beating and detaining young men suspected of stone-throwing.

The military governor in charge of four camps in the central Gaza Strip has refused to deal with UNRWA personnel, the sources added.

The 27,000 refugees at Nusseirat have been without water since Monday, the sources said, because the curfew has prevented UNRWA from entering the camp to repair a main, which apparently burst under pressure from the passage of Israeli armored vehicles.

Even when Israeli officials have relented and briefly raised the curfew, the sources said UNRWA has been unable to act quickly enough to take advantage of the offer.

The authorities yesterday also authorized opening Jabalia, the largest camp, with 52,000 inhabitants, for an hour but did not allow food in, relief workers said.

In apparent solidarity with the residents, one Gaza chicken farmer donated 3,000 chickens, and a baker donated 3,000 loaves of bread, all of which were smuggled into the camps at night, informed sources said.