Finally some humanitarian aid and relief for Gaza

The Obama administration will provide an additional $20.3 million in humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza, the State Department said Friday.

The new aid is in addition to $85 million in U.S. assistance to U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNWRA) and $9.7 million to the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) for Palestinians in the region. The United States has also given $3.7 million in emergency assistance to Palestinians in Gaza since the violence began.

A tentative cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, began on January 21 after the three-week military operation in which more than 1,300 Palestinians died and about 5,400 others were wounded. Thirteen Israelis, including 10 soldiers, were killed.

Obama called for Gaza's border crossings to be reopened as soon as possible. "I was deeply concerned by the loss of Palestinian and Israeli life in recent days and by the substantial suffering and humanitarian needs in Gaza," Obama said. "Our hearts go out to Palestinian civilians who are in need of immediate food, clean water, and basic medical care, and who've faced suffocating poverty for far too long."

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