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Saudi king approves $1m more in West Bank aid

This includes food assistance in response to the proposal of the World Food Program (WFP) targeting 81,000 Palestinians, Saudi Press Agency.

Published: Updated:

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has issued his approval to provide $1 million as additional financing to support humanitarian operations in the West Bank.

This includes food assistance in response to the proposal of the World Food Program (WFP) targeting 81,000 Palestinians, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said Sunday.

This support will be provided through the Saudi Committee for Relief for the Palestinian people with follow up by the representatives of the Kingdom in the WFP.

Meanwhile, Israel warned on Sunday it would not countenance any long-term truce deal that did not answer its security needs as Gaza ceasefire talks resumed in Cairo.

Egyptian-brokered indirect negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians are taking place during a five-day lull in the fighting which is due to expire at midnight (2100 GMT) on Monday.

The aim is to broker a long-term arrangement to halt over a month of bloody fighting which erupted on July 8 and has so far claimed 1,980 Palestinians lives and 67 on the Israeli side.

But as the Israeli team landed in Cairo, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said they would not agree to any proposal which did not offer a clear answer to Israel’s security needs.

The talks began on Sunday afternoon at the headquarters of the Egyptian intelligence in the absence of four officials from Gaza, among them representatives of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, who were expected to arrive during the evening.

It was the first time they had sat down since Wednesday after the negotiators returned home for three-days of consultations with their respective political masters.

Cairo airport sources said the Israeli delegation arrived mid-morning from Tel Aviv, and a Palestinian delegation from Ramallah flew in around the same time via Amman. Hamas’s exiled deputy leader Mussa Abu Marzuk arrived from Doha.

In Ramallah, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated his commitment to the Egyptian proposal. “Our goal is to stop fighting and we are committed to the Egyptian initiative and nothing else,” he said.

In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the Palestinians would not back down from their demands, central to which is a lifting of Israel’s eight-year blockade.

“There is no way back from this. All these demands are basic human rights that do not need this battle or these negotiations,” Abu Zuhri said. “The only way to have security is for Palestinians to feel it first and have the blockade lifted,” he said.

This article was first published in Saudi Gazette on Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014.