Date
20 October 2017
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon talks to Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi at the donors conference in Cairo on Sunday. Photo: Reuters
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon talks to Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi at the donors conference in Cairo on Sunday. Photo: Reuters

Donors pledge US$5.4 bln for Palestinians

International donors have pledged US$5.4 billion for the Palestinians at a conference in Cairo, exceeding the US$4 billion sought by the Palestinian Authority, BBC News reported.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Boerge Brende said half of the sum would be used for reconstruction, and the assistance would be distributed in response to the daily needs of Palestinians. He did not specify the use for the other half.

Envoys from dozens of countries attended the Cairo conference, which was hosted by Egypt’s President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi.

Qatar alone promised US$1 billion, the United States pledged US$212 million, while the United Arab Emirates and Turkey both committed US$200 million, according to the British broadcaster.

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said donations from member states would reach US$568 million, the report said.

At least 100,000 people lost their homes in Gaza in the 50-day conflict between Israel and Hamas earlier this year. Much of the territory’s infrastructure was damaged.

The seven-week Gaza conflict, which ended in a truce on Aug. 26, killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel.

Israel was not invited to the conference but Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman earlier said any rebuilding efforts would need his government’s consent.

“You can’t reconstruct Gaza without Israeli participation and without Israeli co-operation,” Lieberman was quoted as saying.

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