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Haniyah signs relief deal with Libya to support 1,000 Gazan families

Jan. 9, 2010 8:25 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 10, 2010 9:03 P.M.)
Gaza – Ma’an – De facto Prmie Minister Ismail Haniyah and a Libyan relief delegation signed on Thursday an agreement whereby 1,000 Libyan families will support 1,000 Palestinian families affected by Israel's war last winter, sponsored by the Gaza Ministry of Social Affairs.

"It is not strange that Libyan people should help and stand by Palestinians because both nations are like brothers and have real partnership. Palestinians are still suffering from the blockade but they will be released from it with the help of the Libyan people," said Haniyah.

The de facto prime minister's comments followed a visit on Thursday with the Libyan delegation of the International Organization for Peace to the Rayan family, who erected a tent on the ruins of their home in northern Gaza, demolished by Israeli soldiers during Operation Cast Lead. The family's father, Sheikh Nizar Rayan, was killed during Israel's military offensive.

The Libyan delegation was received by a number of Hamas officials and heads of Gaza municipalities, in addition to numerous Palestinians from northern Gaza.

The son of Sheikh Nizar Rayan welcomed the attendees and expressed his gratitude to the delegation. "We are proud of all Arabs who lend a hand and support Palestinians living under the Israeli seige," he said.

The Medal of Bravery was offered to the head of the Libyan delegation, Khaled Al-Hamidy, by Haniyah for their efforts to break the siege imposed on Gaza.

Al-Hamidy assured those present that Arab and Islamic nations do, indeed, support Gaza families and "will help them to face the blockade. Israel's practices won't oppose people's steadfastness and strength."

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