20231016 abbas
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Image Credit: Reuters

Jerusalem: Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas said Sunday that the policies and actions of Hamas "do not represent the Palestinian people", the news agency Wafa reported.

The Palestinian Liberation Organisations (PLO) was the only legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, he added, during talks with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Wafa added.

According to a Venezuelan Foreign Ministry statement, Maduro and Abbas discussed "the terrible situation" in the Gaza Strip following "indiscriminate attacks" by Israel.

Maduro reaffirmed "Venezuela's unconditional support for the Palestinian cause and its Authority", and offered 30 tonnes of humanitarian aid "for the Palestinian people" to be sent in the next few days, according to the statement.

It added that both leaders agreed to "demand an immediate ceasefire and the establishment of a humanitarian assistance corridor" as well as the return to "international legality".

Israel declared war on Hamas last Sunday, a day after waves of the militant group's fighters broke through the heavily fortified border and shot, stabbed and burned to death more than 1,400 people, most of them civilians.

The subsequent relentless bombing has flattened neighborhoods and left at least 2,670 people dead in the Gaza Strip, the majority ordinary Palestinians.

Israel's army has told people in the north of the Gaza Strip - nearly half of its 2.4-million population - to head south to safety, ahead of an expected ground offensive.

Aid groups have warned of a humanitarian disaster in Gaza, with some one million people displaced and Palestinians complaining of water running out.