U.S., Other Nations Meet To Pledge Funds For Rebuilding Gaza
Egypt is hosting a one-day aid conference about Gaza's future, as envoys from dozens of donor nations gather to discuss restoring the Palestinian territory's infrastructure that was crippled in 50 days of fighting between Hamas and Israel. The Palestinians say the rebuilding project will cost $4 billion. U.S. officials have said they doubt the meeting will yield that figure.
From Cairo, NPR's Michele Kelemen reports:
"UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says Gaza remains a tinderbox, and many donors are wary about giving aid if this cycle of conflict and rebuilding continues. Secretary of State John Kerry was among those calling on Israelis and Palestinians to break that cycle and get back to peace talks. He says the U.S. is committed to helping the parties find a way forward. In the meantime, he pledged to help meet the urgent needs in Gaza. " 'The people of Gaza do need our help, desperately,' Kerry said. 'Not tomorrow, not next week, but they need it now.' "Kerry says the U.S. will give another $212 million in aid."
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi opened the meeting by calling for a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza, urging the adoption of a peace plan that was put forth by Saudi Arabia at the Arab League 12 years ago.
"It calls for full recognition of Israel," NPR's Leila Fadel reports, "if the Jewish state gives up all land seized in the 1967 war and agrees to a 'just solution' for Palestinian refugees. It's a plan Israel has already rejected."
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