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Turkey sends first plane with humanitarian aid for Gaza civilians

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The first plane carrying humanitarian aid from Turkey for the Gaza Strip, which is under total lockdown and heavy Israeli attacks, has landed in Egypt, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Friday, citing an announcement by the Turkish Red Crescent (Kızılay).

Turkey’s top charity organization on Friday announced on its account on X, formerly known as Twitter, that a military cargo plane carrying aid obtained with the support of Turkish citizens for Gaza had landed in Egypt.

“The aid that … has reached Egypt is being loaded onto trucks at El-Arish Airport,” Kızılay said.

According to the organization, the items include food supplies, medicine, hygiene products for children and women and medical supplies for hospitals, all aimed at assisting families affected by the attacks.

The military aircraft will deliver aid to the people of Gaza in collaboration with the Defense Ministry and the Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (AFAD), Anadolu said.

Hamas fighters carried out an unprecedented surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7, launching thousands of rockets from the Palestinian enclave of Gaza and crossing the border with hundreds of militants. The Islamist group killed over 1,300 Israelis and abducted an estimated 150 people, prompting Israel to retaliate by pounding Gaza.

Hours after the attack, Israel Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu said the country was at war. The Israeli military said it had called up an unprecedented 300,000 reservists and was imposing a total blockade of the Gaza Strip, signs it could be planning a ground assault there to defeat Hamas.

More than 1,500 people have been killed by Israeli strikes on Gaza since Saturday.

The conflict comes at a time when Turkey, which has supported the Palestinians in the past, hosted members of Hamas and backed a two-state solution to the conflict, is trying to improve relations with Israel after years of animosity.

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