Obama Administration Helps Out Gaza

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The Obama administration on Friday made an emergency contribution of more than $20 million for urgent relief efforts in the Gaza Strip, a day after the United Nations launched a flash appeal for $613 million to help Palestinians recover from Israel’s three-week military operation there.

The State Department said President Barack Obama had authorized the use of $20.3 million from the U.S. Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund for humanitarian assistance to the 1.4 million Palestinians in Gaza.

The money will go to U.N. agencies and the International Committee of the Red Cross, which are distributing emergency food assistance, providing medical care and temporary shelter, creating temporary employment and restoring access to electricity and potable water, the department said in a statement.

The Israeli offensive killed nearly 1,300 Palestinians, including hundreds of civilians, and caused an estimated $2 billion in damage, Palestinian officials say. The assault was launched to halt years of Hamas rocket fire on southern Israel.

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