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EU announces 3m euro emergency aid for Gaza after deadly clashes

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-05-17 20:14

BRUSSELS - The European Union (EU) on Thursday announced a 3-million-euro emergency aid for civilians of Gaza Strip, days after a flare-up of violent clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces.

The EU will funnel the funding "exclusively through international humanitarian partners to deliver health, water and sanitation assistance to Palestinians in need of critical assistance," according to a press release issued by the European Commission.

"For a smooth and continued delivery of humanitarian aid, it is essential that critical goods and equipment are allowed to enter Gaza in a timely manner," Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, was quoted as saying.

At least 63 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were killed and about 2,800 wounded on Monday and Tuesday in clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters against the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the city the Palestinians claim its eastern part as the capital of their future state.

Hamas, a militant organization which rules the Gaza Strip, has been organizing demonstrations for weeks on the border with Israel, as part of a campaign to end Israel's blockade on the coastal enclave which has lasted more than a decade.

Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, but still maintains control of its air and maritime space.

Together with Egypt, Israel has imposed a strict blockade on Gaza since 2007, when Hamas violently took control of the enclave from the more moderate Palestinian faction Fatah.

The European Union Commission said 1.2 million people, or around 80 percent of Gaza's total population, are in need of humanitarian assistance.

The EU allocated 13.5 million euros in aid for Gaza Strip in 2017.

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