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Injured Gaza children in Belgium

Belgian transport plane carrying wounded Gazan children at Melsbroek military airport, 14 Jan 09
Belgium airlifted the wounded children from El-Arish in Egypt on Wednesday

Six seriously injured Palestinian children have been flown to Belgium from the war-torn Gaza Strip for treatment in Brussels hospitals.

The children were airlifted on a Belgian military plane, which brought them from El-Arish, an Egyptian town about 60km (37 miles) from Gaza.

Belgian media say the children's ages range from two and a half to 18 years.

Each child is accompanied by a parent. More than 200 Belgians have offered to accommodate the parents, reports say.

Belgian RTBF radio says Belgium is the first European country to receive Palestinian children injured in the current violence in Gaza.

Belgium's Le Soir newspaper says medics from the World Health Organization chose the children to be evacuated to Belgium from the war zone.

A Belgian foreign ministry spokesman, quoted by RTBF radio, said there might be more similar flights. "Belgium is ready to receive another few dozen children, if need be," Francois Delhaye said.

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