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Saudi king unveils Gaza fundraising drive

Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz unveiled an urgent national campaign to raise donations for Palestinians as Israel's assault on the Gaza strip reached its sixth day.

world Updated: Jan 01, 2009 23:12 IST

Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz on Thursday unveiled an urgent national campaign to raise donations for Palestinians as Israel's assault on the Gaza strip reached its sixth day.

King Abdullah said Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz will be in charge of the campaign "to come to the aid of our Palestinian brothers, to help them and stand by their side in the face of despicable Israeli aggression," the official news agency SPA said in a short statement.

Saudi Arabia has already sent several hospital aircraft with medical personnel and supplies to help Gazans, where more than have been killed 400 and over a thousand injured since Israel began its bombing and missile attack on leaders and offices of the ruling Hamas party Saturday.

The Saudi government has been strongly critical of Israel's campaign, but also laid some blame this week on the Palestinians for not uniting under one leadership, as Hamas has refused to follow the policies of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, leader of the rival Fatah organisation.