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30 Jan, 2009 23:56

Obama sends $US 20 million to Gaza

U.S. president Barack Obama has ordered $20 million in aid to Gaza. The move comes a day after the UN launched an appeal for $613 million to help Palestinians recover from Israel's recently completed military operation.

The money will go to U.N. agencies and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The Israeli offensive that ended two weeks ago claimed the lives of more than 1.300 Palestinians and saw over 4.000 buildings destroyed.

Washington has traditionally been one of Israel's closest allies.

The aid announcement came Friday as Hamas staged a rally in the devastated region with one of its leaders, Khalil Al-Hayya, making his first appearance since the Israeli offensive began.

During the Gaza rally Al-Hayya claimed his group had won the war against Israel.