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Iran to send aid to Gaza Strip via Egypt

Palestinian children wash their faces for the preparation of the Friday prayers as they stand among the ruins and the fallen minaret of the Al-Sousi mosque that was destroyed in an Israeli strike at Shati refugee camp in Gaza City in the northern Gaza Strip on Friday, Aug. 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

TEHRAN: Iran plans to send aid to beleaguered Gaza after Egypt said it would allow the shipment to enter the Palestinian territory, an Iranian diplomatic source said Friday.

The official IRNA news agency said Cairo had agreed to transfer humanitarian aid bound for the coastal enclave, citing a Foreign Ministry source in Tehran.

The source said a first Iranian Red Crescent shipment of 100 tons of medicine and food would be flown “soon” to Cairo.

“The package weighs 100 tons and consists of food and medication,” IRNA quoted the source as saying.

Tehran said at the end of July it had sent a first shipment of aid to Cairo that was awaiting authorization to enter the enclave via Rafah in southern Gaza, the only crossing point not controlled by Israel.

Impoverished Gaza is one of the most densely populated places on the planet, and many areas have been devastated by the Israeli offensive aimed at halting militant rocket and mortar fire.

United Nations humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said during a visit to Iran Sunday that it would take months to repair damage to the U.N.’s infrastructure caused by the Israeli bombardment.

A total of 97 UNRWA installations, including health and food distribution centers as well as schools, have been damaged in the war between Israel and the Hamas movement which controls the territory.

The Islamic Republic does not recognize Israel and provides financial and military assistance to Islamist Palestinian groups.

Iranian officials have said that Tehran provided Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants with the technology necessary to make rockets.

Iran has condemned Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, and Tehran municipality renamed a key street where the U.N. headquarters is located “Gaza Avenue.”

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 23, 2014, on page 10.

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Summary

Iran plans to send aid to beleaguered Gaza after Egypt said it would allow the shipment to enter the Palestinian territory, an Iranian diplomatic source said Friday.

The official IRNA news agency said Cairo had agreed to transfer humanitarian aid bound for the coastal enclave, citing a Foreign Ministry source in Tehran.

Tehran said at the end of July it had sent a first shipment of aid to Cairo that was awaiting authorization to enter the enclave via Rafah in southern Gaza, the only crossing point not controlled by Israel.


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