In continued efforts to bring reconstructive aid to Gaza, a total of $5.4bn has been pledged at the Gaza Reconstruction Conference in Cairo on Sunday.
The conference organised by Egypt, Norway, and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, included more than 90 countries and international organisations.
“This solid result demonstrates massive international support for the Palestinian people,” the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende said. “It sends a strong signal that the world is standing together to rebuild Gaza.”
Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry along with several international counterparts emphasised the promotion of Palestinian unity and a solution to avoid another conflict between Israel and Gaza.
“Israel and the Palestinians must take new political measures to prevent another Gaza war,” a statement by the Norwegian foreign ministry said. “They must demonstrate a willingness to engage in genuine negotiations to find lasting solutions to the underlying conflict between the two peoples, including a two-state solution.”
The Egyptian foreign ministry emphasised the need “to support a Palestinian government of national reconciliation” and the need “to ensure the non-recurrence of attacks.”
“About 80,000 homes are completely or partially in ruins after the bloody summer in Gaza that killed over 2,200 people,” said Brende of the 50-day conflict, the third war in Gaza in the last six years.
“The Palestinian government must begin the reform process to ensure that there is a single responsible authority for all of Palestine and to take responsibility for rebuilding Gaza,” he added. “We expect that Israel will do its part to reverse its access restrictions on Gaza, so that the assistance actually reaches the civilian population, and the society can be rebuilt.”
“About half of the funds will go to the reconstruction of Gaza and the other half to development needs in the rest of Palestine, and to the Palestinian Authority,” the Norwegianministry said.
The Egyptian ministry also called “for the opening of all crossings linking Gaza with Israel to ensure the flow of basic materials and other construction materials to build what has been destroyed.”
“It’s vital that Israel and the Palestinians cooperate on the new UN mechanism for bringing in essential goods and materials,” Brende added.
The foreign ministers of Croatia, Bulgaria, and Sweden all praised Egypt’s efforts in brokering the initial ceasefire.
The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, they “gave thanks and appreciation of Egypt and its leadership, for their continued efforts in the cease-fire agreement between the Israeli and Palestinian sides.”