RABAT (Reuters) - Morocco has begun sending 40 tons of medical aid to Palestinians in war-torn Gaza, the Moroccan foreign ministry said on Monday.

The aid includes surgery equipment and supplies to treat burns and fractures as well as medicine for children, it said.

The aid was transported by air and will be loaded into Palestinian red crescent trucks at the Kerem Shalom border crossing, which was first used by Morocco to deliver aid in March, a senior diplomatic source told Reuters.

Moroccan authorities say they are using their ties to Israel to promote peace and defend the rights of Palestinians, but there have been many protests in Moroccan cities criticizing these ties since the onset of the war in Gaza.

Israel's ground and air campaign in Gaza was triggered after Hamas-led militants stormed into southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing around 1,200 people and seizing more than 250 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

The Israeli offensive in retaliation has killed more than 37,600 people, according to Palestinian health authorities, and left much of Gaza in ruins.

(Reporting by Ahmed Eljechtimi; Editing by Christina Fincher)