A cabinet source expects that the Gaza Reconstruction Conference will help rebuild the Gaza Strip’s destruction by collecting “reasonable” sums of money, estimated by Palestinian officials, amounting to $4bn.
The projected donations come amid international fears of renewed clashes and the potential for further destruction of what was reconstructed.
The conference will kick off Sunday in Cairo, with expectations for wide international participation to create the appropriate climate for reaching a two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“I don’t know whether Egypt will contribute materially to the reconstruction process, but consultations are underway to discuss the possibility of Egyptian contracting companies’ participation in reconstruction,” said the source. “The Egyptian administration continues to support the Palestinian cause with more than money.”
Egypt’s vision is based on viewing the conference as more than just a one-day media event or a political rally where some parties pledge and others deny responsibility. Instead, the gathering is considered an important starting point for an international strategy for the Palestinian cause after the highly visible Israeli attacks, a diplomatic source told Al-Ahram on Saturday.
Senior American officials were sceptical of the conference’s potential to meet Palestinian requests for $4bn for Gaza’s reconstruction, following Israel and Hamas’ 50-day conflict, according to a Reuters report on Friday.
The Palestinian Authority hopes that the visits of US Secretary of State John Kerry and his counterparts from tens nations will help decrease the concerns of wealthy donor countries surrounding providing funds for reconstruction.
But the extent of donor countries’ generosity remains unclear in light of a lack of progress toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the broader risk of future combat operations’ potential to destroy anything that is rebuilt.