Paris to send tents, medicine in humanitarian shipment to Gaza

FILE PHOTO: Palestinians, who fled their houses amid Israeli strikes, take shelter at a tent camp at a United Nations-run centre, in Khan Younis

PARIS (Reuters) - Paris will send an aircraft filled with humanitarian aid for civilians in Gaza, including tents, medicine and emergency medical equipment, the French foreign ministry said on Thursday.

The emergency cargo will be transported on an aircraft provided by the CMA CGM Foundation from Paris to Egypt before the goods will be handed over to the Egyptian Red Crescent, the ministry said in a statement.

The shipment includes 336 tents, 28 metric tons of food supplements, 70,000 water purification tablets, 18 emergency ventilators, medication and solar lamps.

AFP reported the flight will leave on Saturday.

Separately, EU leaders were poised at a summit in Brussels to call for pauses in Israeli bombing and Hamas rocket attacks to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza after days of wrangling that highlighted divisions within the bloc over the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Ahead of the summit, diplomats spent days debating whether to call for a "humanitarian pause" or "pauses".

A draft intended as a final summit declaration includes the latter, expressing the leaders' "gravest concern for the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza".

The French foreign ministry reiterated its call for a "humanitarian truce" to allow for delivery of urgent aid.

(Reporting by Tassilo Hummel; Editing by Rod Nickel)