The Terror Journal

A Journal on Terrorism and Genocide

Donors asked to pledge money for Gaza

GazaInternational donors are to meet in Egypt, where they are expected to pledge billions of dollars to rebuild Gaza after Israel’s recent offensive.

Teams from some 75 nations are in Sharm el-Sheikh, among them US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is expected to commit $900m (£633m) to the fund.

Thousands of Gaza homes were destroyed or damaged during Israel’s operation.

However, all but essential supplies are still subject to Israeli blockades at the crossing points into Gaza.

And donors stress that aid should not be channelled through Hamas, which both the US and the EU regard as a terrorist organisation.

Some 1,300 Palestinians, of whom 412 were children, were killed during fighting in December and January, and 21,000 homes were flattened or badly damaged.

Israel and Hamas declared unilateral truces on 17 January following the three-week Israeli offensive.

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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is seeking about $2.8bn (£2bn) of aid from donors during the one-day conference at Egypt’s premier Red Sea resort.

“We expect rapid international aid from all parties to completely rebuild Gaza,” Mr Abbas told reporters ahead of the conference.

He also stressed that all aid to Gaza should be channelled through his Palestinian Authority.

Hillary Clinton, who is making her first visit to the Middle East as America’s top diplomat, is reportedly carrying a cheque for $900m for Gaza.

But she has already warned that the aid would depend on Palestinians’ meeting the conditions of the “Quartet” of Middle East mediators – the EU, UN, US and Russia.

“I will be announcing a commitment to a significant aid package. But it will only be spent if we determine that our goals can be furthered rather than undermined or subverted,” she said on Saturday.

After the conference, Mrs Clinton will go to Israel and the Palestinian territories to meet leaders from both sides.

Saudi Arabia, another major donor, has already promised $1bn (£703m) to Gaza, and is expected to reaffirm its commitment in Sharm el-Sheikh.

Neither Hamas nor Israel will be attending the conference.

The main obstacles to reconstruction of Gaza are the crossings which remain largely closed to all but essential supplies, says the BBC’s Christian Fraser in Sharm el-Sheikh.

For that to change there would need to be a series of improbable events, he adds: Hamas would have to recognise Israel while at the same time healing divisions with Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah.

Israel and Egypt would have to recognise Hamas in some form of governing role, and on top of that there would need to be a binding ceasefire between Israel and Hamas to ensure the medium-term stability.

Source: BBC News

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