(BBC) The government of Rwanda says it’s sent humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people in Gaza.

In a brief written statement sent to BBC Great Lakes, the government’s deputy spokesman, Alain Mukuralinda, said the donation was sent to the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organisation (JHCO) and has arrived in the Jordanian capital, Amman.

It was made “in support to the ongoing international rescue effort”, Mr Mukuralinda wrote.

The donation comprises 16 tonnes of food items, medicines and medical supplies, he said, adding “Rwanda reiterates the need for a de-escalation to protect the lives of innocent civilians”.

Rwanda is one of the countries on the continent that has close ties with Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the Rwanda in 2016.

Both countries share “haunting similarities to the genocide of our own people”, Mr Netanyahu wrote in the visitor’s book after touring a memorial for the victims of Rwanda’s 1994 genocide.

Over 800,000 people, mostly ethnic Tutsis, were massacred in 1994. Six million Jewish people were killed in the Holocaust during the Second World War.

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