Britain gives Gaza £19m aid

International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell

International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell

The British government has pledged to give £19 million in aid to Gaza and called on Israel to end the blockade.

Andrew Mitchell, the International Development Secretary, said the money is to go towards services including education and healthcare.

The donation is part of a £100 million financial deal with the UN Relief and Works Agency, which the Labour government arranged in 2006.

The announcement follows a second attempt by pro-Palestinian activists to breach Israel’s blockade of Gaza, which has been in place since Hamas gained control of the area in 2007.

Mr Mitchell called the blockade “both unacceptable and unsustainable” and said the UK was committed to helping people affected by it.

He said: “There is an immediate need for unfettered access to Gaza if the humanitarian situation is to be improved, to allow the economy to get back on its feet, and to give the young people of Gaza the prospect of a better future.”

Last updated: 5:18pm, June 7 2010