BEIRUT

Middle East

Saudi Arabia pledges $53.3M in aid for Gaza

Palestinians gather around the remains of a house that police said was destroyed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City July 14, 2014. (REUTERS/Mohammed Salem)

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia has pledged 200 million riyals ($53.3 million) in humanitarian aid for the victims of the Israeli offensive against Gaza that has killed more than 170 people.

The funds will pay for medicine and medical equipment to treat "victims of the brutal Israeli aggression and bombing of the Gaza Strip," Finance Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf said late Sunday.

The aid will be channeled through the Palestinian Red Crescent, Assaf said in a statement carried by the SPA state news agency.

Israel began Operation Protective Edge before dawn last Tuesday in an attempt to halt cross-border rocket fire by Palestinian militant groups.

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon has urged Israel to scrap plans for a ground offensive against the Hamas-held enclave, saying "too many" Palestinian civilians had been killed.

 

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