No rebuilding of Gaza without removal of Israel's blockade, Palestinian PM says

The premier made the remarks while hosting a delegation of officials from the International Monetary Fund in Ramallah.

By YASSER OKBI/ MAARIV HASHAVUA
October 16, 2014 14:25
1 minute read.
Rami Hamdallah

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Israel's lifting of the siege on Gaza is a prerequisite to its reconstruction in the wake of Operation Protective Edge, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said on Thursday.

The premier made the remarks while hosting a delegation of officials from the International Monetary Fund in Ramallah.

The IMF delegation was headed by its chief emissary to the West Bank and Gaza, Christoph Duenwald.

"The reconstruction of the Gaza Strip will not be possible without the removal of the Israeli blockade, which has been ongoing for seven years now," Hamdallah said.

Duenwald sought to stress the IMF's commitment to supporting the Palestinian government.

Nations pledged $5.4 billion to help rebuild Gaza at a donor conference in Cairo on Sunday, a sum that far exceeded the Palestinian Authority’s expectations.

Half the amount pledged “will go to rebuilding Gaza and the assistance will be distributed in response to the daily needs of the Palestinian people,” Norway’s Foreign Minister Borge Brende said in comments translated into Arabic on Egyptian state television.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas had asked for the more modest sum of $4b.

The largest pledge of $1b. was from Qatar, which has close ties to Hamas, the terrorist organization that controls Gaza. Kuwait and United Arab Emirates promised $200 million each and Turkey pledged $200m.

“The most recent Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip, which resulted in vast destruction and uncountable catastrophes is unbearable and cannot pass without consequence,” Abbas told the conference. Some 61,800 homes were destroyed or damaged, with another 18,200 yet to be repaired from past conflicts with Israel, he said, adding that about 2,145 people were killed and 11,200 injured over the summer.


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