Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Monday lauded the UN for providing services to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip during Operation Protective Edge and called for international protection for the Palestinians.
Hamdallah, who was speaking to reporters after meeting in Ramallah with UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon, also praised the international community for pledging $5.4 billion toward the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip at this week’s Cairo donor conference.
Half of the funds would be dedicated to the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, while the other half would cover the needs of the Palestinian people over the next three years, he said.
The Cairo conference affirmed the need for Israel and the Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip to abide by the cease-fire so as to ensure the success of the reconstruction work, Hamdallah said.
“The Gaza Strip is part of the lands of the Palestinian state and it should be under the administration of the Palestinian government,” he said. “It’s inconceivable to think about reconstruction without reopening the border crossings to allow entry of goods and construction material.”
Hamdallah said he briefed the UN secretary- general on the ongoing efforts to achieve reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, also as a way of ensuring the success of the reconstruction process.
He said he briefed Ban on Israeli practices in Jerusalem and its efforts to Judaize the city, “drive out” its Arab residents and “alter its character and demography,” and that he demanded the international community and the UN oblige Israel to commit to international law and halt settlement construction.
Ban told reporters that he was carrying a message of hope regarding the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip in order to create a better future for its residents.
The Palestinian government would play an important role in supervising the process of reconstruction in the Gaza Strip, he said.
He criticized Israel for building in settlements and called on Israelis and Palestinians to return to the negotiating table in order to achieve peace.