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Egypt's parliament calls for establishing relief mechanism for Gaza
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09:01, December 17, 2008

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The Egyptian parliament on Tuesday called for the establishment of an official mechanism to provide humanitarian aid to the besieged Gaza Strip, the state MENA news agency reported.

The Arab Affairs Committee of the People's Assembly (lower house of the parliament) made the call during its meeting on the current situation in the Palestinian enclave.

Voicing its support for offering humanitarian aid to Gaza, the Egyptian parliamentary committee said "a sole governmental body" should be tasked with collecting local donations.

Egyptian Minister of Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Moufed Mahmoud Shehab said during the meeting that the country has contributed a lot to relieving the humanitarian suffering in Gaza.

Some 20,000 Palestinians were allowed to cross the Egyptian-Gaza border for medical and humanitarian concerns in the past 10 months, said Shehab.

In addition, Egypt allowed humanitarian aid worth about 25 million U.S. dollars into Gaza this year, he added.

Israel has imposed a blockade on Gaza and closed down all the commercial border crossings with the coastal strip after Palestinian Islamic Hamas movement took control of the enclave by force in mid-June last year.

In spite of an Egyptian-brokered six-month truce between Israel and Hamas-led Gaza armed groups, violent conflicts between the two sides flared up early last month and then Israel has completely closed down all Gaza crossing points.


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