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Israelis Kill 6 in Attack on Hamas Meeting

Responding to Mashaal's statement, Shalit's father, Noam, called on Hamas to allow the Red Cross to visit his son. Under Geneva Conventions, the Red Cross is supposed to have access to prisoners of war.

Israel has demanded the unconditional release of its soldier to end the offensive.

The European Union also began delivering aid to Gaza in a bid to repair some of the damage. Moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he had received $50 million from the Arab League.

It was the first aid delivered under internationally backed funding restrictions that bypass the Palestinian government led by the militant group Hamas since March.

Officials said the money had bypassed Hamas because of the international boycott. The European Union, along with Israel and the U.S., considers Hamas a terrorist group.

Mohammed Awad, the Palestinian Cabinet secretary, said Hamas agreed to allow Abbas to handle the money. He said the funds would be used to pay civil servants, who have not received salaries in four months.

The European Commission said it has started delivering $765,000 in monthly aid to hospitals in the Gaza Strip.

EU spokeswoman Emma Udwin said the funds _ to purchase fuel for emergency generators at Gaza hospitals _ was requested by Abbas after Israel destroyed six transformers at a power plant during its Gaza offensive. Gaza now has only sporadic electricity, almost all of it provided by Israel.


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© 2006 The Associated Press