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International donors pledge money to rebuild Gaza

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International donors pledge money to rebuild Gaza


International donors have pledged to help rebuild Gaza after it was devastated by an Israeli assault in the summer.

At a conference in Cairo on Sunday, Qatar promised 800 million euros and EU member states will contribute 450m.

At least 100,000 Gazans lost their homes in the seven-week war and schools, hospitals and water infrastructure were destroyed.

The Palestinian and Egyptian presidents called on Israel to commit to a long-term peace plan.

Palestinian government spokesman Ehab Bsaiso said: “We look forward to more international efforts, not only in financial terms but more political support for ending the blockade on the Gaza Strip, and also support the Palestinian national efforts to end the occupation.”

Britain was amongst those also calling for a political solution.

International development minister Desmond Swayne said: “Aid will not provide a future for Gaza. That has to be a political solution, political transformation. We don’t want to be back here in another couple of years raising money to rebuild Gaza after it has been smashed to smithereens once again.”

The temporary truce signed in August between Hamas fighters and Israel has not yet become a long-term ceasefire between the two sides.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Gaza remained “a tinder box”.

British charity Oxfam has warned that unless the Israeli blockade is lifted, it could take 50 years to rebuild the Gaza strip and urged donors to put pressure to end the blockade.

Euronews correspondent in Cairo, Mohammed Shaikhibrahim, said: “The international efforts being made at the conference are clear, as well as the political dimensions to not only provide funds to the Gaza Strip, but to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a two-state solution.”

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