UK commits to new Gaza aid package of £1.5m

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UK commits to new Gaza aid package of £1.5m

Funding will help treat patients at 11 hospitals and provide rehabilitation services to around 4,000 people following border violence with Israel

Alistair Burt
Alistair Burt

The UK has committed to provide a new package of aid totalling £1.5 million to buy medicines and equipment for hospitals in Gaza.

The funding will help treat patients in 11 hospitals and will also provide physical rehabilitation services for around 4,000 people.

The aid announcement comes after Israeli jets bombed targets in Gaza hours after militants from the territory fired more than 25 mortar shells towards communities in southern Israel.

Tensions have been running high in the region following the deaths of more than 100 Palestinians from Israeli fire during mass protests along the border.

Middle East minister Alistair Burt, announcing the funding on a visit to Gaza, said: “I am deeply concerned about the worsening situation in the Gaza Strip, and today’s UK aid package gives a message to the world, and to the people of Gaza, that we have not forgotten them or their plight.

“Today’s support will help to ensure that hospitals which are under immense pressure are able to cope with the increased number of casualties who need medical and surgical care.

“It is absolutely vital that the UK steps up to help those suffering and ensure that vulnerable Gazans are able to access treatment to keep them alive.

“We have been clear that a political settlement is the only way to ensure lasting peace for Palestinians and Israelis alike.

“All parties must redouble their political efforts and return to the negotiating table, not only to address the deteriorating conditions in Gaza, but to ensure tragedies of the past months are not repeated.”

UK support is already providing Gazans with access to clean water, and improving sanitation facilities to help stop the spread of deadly disease.

Through the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA), UK aid is providing basic health and education to 1.3 million people in Gaza, as well as more than 800,000 refugees in the West Bank.

Mr Burt announced in March at the Rome Conference that the UK will deliver its next round of financial support to UNRWA earlier than planned to help meet the growing needs of Palestinian refugees across the region.

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