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France - Middle East

France to give 11 million euros to Gaza, Palestinian mission receives death threat

Palestinian children in Gaza's Beit Hanoun hospital
Palestinian children in Gaza's Beit Hanoun hospital Reuters/Finbarr O'Reilly

France has pledged 11 million euros in humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, where an Israeli army offensive has left more than 800 people dead.

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Eight million euros will go to the West Bank-based Palestinan Authority and the remainder

Dossier: Gaza 2009

to UN bodies and NGOs in Gaza, an advisor to president François Hollande said on Thursday.

The aid was approved after meeting NGOs working in the besieged territory.

The NGOs "highlighted the gravity of the situation, the scale of the humanitarian needs of the civilian population and the difficulty of humanitarian workers in getting to the victims," Hollande's office said.

The Palestinian mission in France on Thursday said it had received death threats in a letter posted from Israel.

"We received this letter this morning threatening to kill members of the Palestinian mission in France and those who took part in recent demonstrations for Palestine," Noha Rashmawi, the chief of staff at the mission, told the AFP news agency.

"Participants in the said activities are convicted to death," the letter read. "The verdict will take place soon by infecting the convicts with the powerful virus Gurion-48."

David Ben-Gurion was Israel's first prime minister and the Jewish state was founded in 1948.

The letter was signed by an organisation based in the United States but posted from Israel, Rashmawi said.

It has been handed to police who are carrying out forensic tests.
 

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