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UN: Hamas Seized Aid Meant for Gaza Civilians


The United Nations says the Palestinian militant group Hamas has seized blankets and food meant for hundreds of civilian families in the Gaza Strip.

The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, Wednesday said Hamas police raided a warehouse in Gaza City on Tuesday and took 3,500 blankets and more than 400 food parcels.

Hamas Welfare Minister Ahmed Kurd accused the U.N. of giving aid to local groups with a political agenda.

The U.N. has appealed to the international community for about $613 million in aid for Gazans following Israel's three-week military campaign against Hamas.

More than 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis died in the violence.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told lawmakers at the European Parliament Wednesday that Israel should be held accountable for its actions in the war.

The International Criminal Court says it is exploring whether it can legally investigate allegations that Israel committed war crimes in the Gaza offensive.

The Palestinian Authority recently recognized the jurisdiction of the court. But, it is unclear whether Palestinians can request an ICC investigation because, officially, only states can recognize the court.

A Hamas delegation met Egyptian mediators in Cairo Tuesday, and said the militant group was ready to commit to a truce with Israel for at least a year, in exchange for the full opening of Gaza's borders.

Israel and Hamas stopped major combat two weeks ago, but sporadic attacks continue. Hamas is urging all Palestinian factions to "respect the national consensus" on the cease-fire.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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