RAMALLAH (AFP) - USAID is halting humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip over alleged meddling by the Palestinian group Hamas, a US official said on Friday. "We deeply regret that USAID-funded partner organisations operating in Gaza are forced by Hamass actions to suspend their assistance work," the official said on condition of anonymity. "USAID assistance programs were put on hold effective August 12," he added. "Hamas, through a series of measures it has imposed over the past months, has created an environment which jeopardises the ability of non-governmental organisations to provide assistance to Gazas most vulnerable residents," the official said.