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The head of the Arab League said on Saturday it was astonishing that Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni had declared that there was no humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, after a week of an Israeli aerial assault on the coastal strip.

"I am greatly surprised by, and I reject, the words of the Israeli foreign minister who asks: 'Is there a humanitarian crisis? There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza,'" Amr Moussa said.

"And this is an astonishing thing, that after more than 450 victims and more than 2,000 injured... then it is said there is no humanitarian crisis," he added.

"There may be those that sympathize with such a remark. This is something we must condemn, and we must say there is a major humanitarian crisis," Moussa stressed.

Livni rejected on Thursday a French proposal for a 48-hour truce to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza, saying there was no humanitarian crisis in Strip.

Livni said Israel had been careful to protect the civilian population and had kept the humanitarian situation in Gaza "completely as it should be".

A flash appeal issued by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) this month said that the bombing was "destroying what remains of Gaza's crumbling infrastructure and public service capacity," and "threatens dramatically to worsen an already dire food security situation for the entire population."

Israel launched the offensive on Dec. 27 with the stated aim of stopping Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli towns from Gaza. Since then about 430 Palestinians have been killed and 2000 have been wounded, at least a quarter of them civilians, according to the United Nations.

Moussa also criticized the Security Council for not responding faster to the crisis.

A Wednesday session of the Security Council adjourned without a vote being called and diplomats said negotiations would be held in coming days over a draft resolution presented by Libya, which Western delegates described as unbalanced.