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Middle East

Jordan king orders aid for Palestinians

Jordanian gendarmerie policemen stand guard to separate pro-government supporters from anti-government protesters during a demonstration following an announcement that Jordan would raise fuel prices, including a hike on cooking gas, in Amman November 13, 2012. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

AMMAN: Jordan's King Abdullah II on Saturday ordered the dispatch of urgent humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, targeted by Israeli air strikes for a fourth straight day.

The Jordanian Hashemite Charity Organisation was instructed to "send urgent humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people in Gaza who are facing suffering and difficult living conditions due to Israeli attacks," the royal palace said.

King Abdullah also called for the adoption of "urgent procedures needed to... support the Jordanian military field hospital currently working in the Gaza Strip," the statement said.

The palace said the measures were aimed at providing "all the necessary medical care to children of the brotherly Palestinian people... in view of the difficult circumstances in the face of Israeli aggression".

Since Wednesday afternoon, Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes, targeting every city in the densely populated enclave, which is dotted throughout with Hamas facilities and rocket launching sites.

On Friday, King Abdullah told US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton in a phone call that he was "deeply worried" about the implications for the whole region of Israel's air strikes on the Gaza Strip, according to the palace.

The king, whose government has a 1994 peace agreement with the Jewish state, has been facing a wave of domestic protests initially sparked by big fuel price increases but which have taken on increasing political overtones.

Thousands of protesters made unprecedented calls on Friday for the king to go, as police blocked them from heading to the royal palace to vent their anger over the austerity measures.

 

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