UAE to resume aid shipments to Gazans
DUBAI, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- Dubai will resume flights aimed at alleviating Palestinian suffering in Gaza by boosting the supplies of aid organizations and agencies in the enclave, the country's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, announced on Tuesday.
State news agency WAM reported that al-Maktoum, the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) vice president and prime minister, ordered the resumption of flights to help supply UNWRA, the World Food Programme, WHO and other aid agencies in Gaza.
The order came as nearly 260,000 Gazan civilians have found refuge in more than 90 shelters of the United Nations (UN). The flights aim "to help the victims of the Israeli assault on Gaza."
Seventeen flights have already been dispatched from Dubai using a combination of Boeing 747 jumbo jets and C130 Hercules aircraft for transporting food, blankets, kitchen sets, and medicine and hygiene kits in to the coastal Gaza strip.
A Boeing 747 from Dubai has been sent to Brindisi, Italy, where the site of the UN's second largest humanitarian depot (after Dubai) is located, to collect 30,000 blankets and deliver them to Amman, Jordan for shipment by truck to Gaza.
The cost of the operation reached 23.3 million Dirham or 6.35 million dollars, the report added. Although, it did not reveal whether or not Israel, which controls all ways into Gaza by land, air and sea, has allowed the operation.
On Tuesday, the 29th day of the conflict, Israel and the Islamic resistance movement Hamas began a 72-hour ceasefire at 8 a. m. Past ceasefires have not been respected and were quickly broken by both sides.
Israel's "Operation Protective Edge", which began almost a month ago, has brought about the deaths of more than 1,850 Palestinians in Gaza, mostly civilians, and wounded 9,000 others, with nine UN staff among those killed. Israel said it has lost 64 soldiers in during its operation.
The UAE condemned Israel's military operation against Gaza. The Gulf Arab state has no diplomatic relations with Israel.