Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Sunday that a plane carrying 12.5 metric tons of medicine was preparing to leave for Egypt, which will transport the supplies into Gaza. Chavez said in his weekly broadcast, "It's the least we can do." Chavez has strongly condemned Israel's military offensive in Gaza. He expelled the Israeli ambassador last week to protest air and ground strikes that have killed at least 870 Palestinians, about half of them civilians. Thirteen Israelis have also died since the conflict erupted December 27. Since taking office in 1999, Chavez has forged strong ties with numerous Arab nations.