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US gives $9bn to aid Gaza's people but far more to Israeli military

BILLIONS of dollars of additional aid for Israel was approved by US President Joe Biden today, after the measure was passed by the Senate on Tuesday night.

Left-wing Democratic senators such as Bernie Sanders and Jeff Merkley opposed the package, with the former saying: “We must end our complicity in this terrible war,” but they were far outnumbered in the 79-18 vote.

Though the aid package includes around $9 billion (£7.2bn) in humanitarian assistance for Gaza, which experts say is on the brink of famine, most of the $26bn (£20.9bn) will go to support Israel’s vicious military campaign in the beleaguered Palestinian territory.

Gaza’s Health Ministry said today that the bodies of 79 people killed in Israeli strikes had been brought to local hospitals over the past 24 hours, along with 86 wounded.

That brought the overall Palestinian death toll to at least 34,262, the ministry said, with 77,229 wounded, since Israel began its onslaught following the October 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel. Some 1,200 people were killed and about 250 hostages taken during the massive cross-border raid.

Israel’s military said today that it was redeploying two reserve brigades from the country’s northern border to Gaza for “defensive and tactical missions,” as it prepares for an offensive in Rafah, which Israel claims as Hamas’s last stronghold in the territory.

More than half of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have sought refuge in the southern city.

German officials said today that Berlin would follow several other governments around the world in resuming co-operation with the United Nations relief agency for Palestinians in Gaza after an independent review found no evidence to support Israeli claims that it is a front for Hamas.

In Egypt, human rights lawyer Khaled Ali said that authorities had arrested at least 18 activists, mostly women, who staged a protest in solidarity with Gaza outside a UN facility in Cairo on Tuesday.

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