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The UAE has launched a campaign to provide humanitarian relief for Palestinians affected by the war in the Gaza Strip.
The “Compassion for Gaza” campaign will open centres to collect humanitarian relief packages by working with charitable organisations, volunteer centres and the private sector, state news agency Wam reported on Friday.
The Emirates Red Crescent Authority will launch the campaign on Sunday at the Abu Dhabi Ports Hall in Mina Zayed, from 9am to 4pm.
It will then be expanded into the other emirates at a later date.
The campaign was launched in collaboration with the World Food Programme, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Community Development.
Hours later, the UAE said it has sent a plane carrying “urgent medical aid” to the Egyptian city of Al Arish intended to be brought into the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing, Wam reported on Friday, as the deadline for an Israeli invasion of the enclave loomed.
The initiative comes under the UAE's “continuous efforts to provide relief supplies to the brotherly Palestinian people in light of the difficult humanitarian conditions” they are experiencing, reported Wam, citing Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation for International Development Affairs, Mohammed Al Shamsi.
The medical aid was sent in co-ordination with Egypt and is awaiting urgent entry into the Gaza Strip, Wam reported.
The campaign comes days after President Sheikh Mohamed directed $20 million in aid for the Palestinian people.
Later on Friday, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, directed an additional $50 million in aid to be disbursed through Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, Wam reported.
The UAE plans to provide humanitarian aid such as food, hygiene materials and health supplies to Palestinian children and families affected by the continuing Israel-Gaza war.
He said the assistance would be channelled through the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.
The death toll resulting from days of fierce fighting is approaching 2,500.
An Israeli military spokesman confirmed the number of deaths in Israel had reached 1,200, with more than 2,700 wounded, while the death toll in the Gaza strip has risen to about 1,200 people, a representative for the Health Ministry in Gaza said.
More than 423,000 people have been forced to flee their homes in the Gaza Strip, UN humanitarian agency OCHA said.