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Gaza Rebuilding Conference collects $5.4 billion


Al-Manar TV-Countries participating in the international conference on the Gaza Strip in the Egyptian capital Cairo on Sunday pledged to grant a total of $5.4 billion to the area destroyed and smashed by the latest 7-week Israeli aggression. Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende, whose country had sponsored the conference, together with Egypt and the Palestinian Authority, said that half of the pledged funds would go for the reconstruction of the war-ravaged Palestinian territory. He said conference participants were committed to contributing this aid in response to the needs of the Palestinian people. It was not, however, immediately clear where the remaining portion of the pledged $5.4-billion aid would go. Brende, reading out the final statement of the conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri sitting next to him, said the international community had committed itself to paying the pledged financial support next year. He said stakeholders had agreed that the two-state solution – based on international conventions – would be the only solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, on one hand, and the road to peace between the Arabs and the Isreali occupation authorities - the party that should be primarily called to compensate and rebuild Gaza - on the other. Qatar said it would provide $1 billion in reconstruction assistance for Gaza devastated by a recent Israeli military offensive, while France pledged 30 million Euros ($38 million) until 2017.Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini, meanwhile, said her country would contribute 18.7 million Euros ($24 million) for the reconstruction drive. Rome would also allocate additional 30 million Euros at a later stage, she added. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has announced $212 million in immediate aid for the reconstruction of the embattled strip. Turkey pledged to dedicate $200 million until 2017 as part of international efforts to rebuild the embattled enclave devastated by a recent Israeli war. United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon said Sunday that the international body is working with partners and the Palestinian government on a $2.1 billion plan for the recovery and reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. The Arab League said earlier this month that it hoped to raise $5 billion at the conference, attended by about 30 foreign ministers and representatives of 20 regional and international organizations, including the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The Israeli entity - the party which should be called for compensation and rebuilding of Gaza - tightened the blockade further after Hamas wrested control of the enclave from the rival Fatah movement one year later.






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