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Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney Sam Boal via PA Images

Ireland to provide €1.5 million in emergency support for people in Gaza Strip

At least 227 Palestinians have been killed in the latest round of conflict between Israel and Hamas.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER Simon Coveney has announced €1.5 million in emergency support for people in the Gaza Strip. 

At least nine people were killed in the Gaza Strip today. The Gaza Health Minister has said at least 227 Palestinians have been killed in the latest round of conflict between Israel and Hamas. 

“I am deeply concerned by the terrible humanitarian consequences of the ongoing violence in the occupied Palestinian territory,” Coveney said. 

“Two million people in Gaza, who are already suffering extreme hardship, including poverty and food insecurity, are now in the midst of another cycling of violence. The impact on the civilian population has been devastating,” he said. 

Of the €1.5 million being provided in emergency support from Ireland, €1 million will be given to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNFWA). The agency provides services to Palestine refugees for emergency food, water and sanitation supplies and health and psychosocial services for 50,000 people sheltering in UNFWA-run schools. 

Unicef will receive €500,000 for child protection, medical and sanitation services to thousands of children in acute need. This includes emergency psycho-social services to 5,000 children suffering trauma as a result of the hostilities. 

“Today’s announcement of Irish Aid funding will support the UN in delivering emergency humanitarian supplies to those in acute need. The plight of children in this conflict is shameful and our support for Unicef seeks to alleviate the brutal situation they are facing,” Coveney said. 

Minister Coveney addressed the UN Security Council on Sunday, calling for cessation of hostilities, protection of civilians and humanitarian access.

Current violence

The current round of fighting between Israel and Hamas began on 10 May when the militant group fired long-range rockets towards Jerusalem after days of clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, a flashpoint site sacred to Jews and Muslims.

Heavy-handed police tactics at the compound and the threatened eviction of dozens of Palestinian families by Jewish settlers had inflamed tensions.

Since then, Israel has pounded Gaza with hundreds of air strikes it says are targeting Hamas’s militant infrastructure, and Hamas and other militant groups embedded in residential areas have fired more than 3,700 rockets at Israeli cities, with hundreds falling short and most of the rest intercepted.

At least 227 Palestinians have been killed, including 64 children and 38 women, with 1,620 people wounded, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, which does not break the numbers down into fighters and civilians.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad say at least 20 of their fighters have been killed, while Israel says the number is at least 130.

Some 58,000 Palestinians have fled their homes.

12 people in Israel, including a five-year-old boy, a 16-year-old girl and a soldier, have been killed.

Includes reporting by Press Association

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