Abbas: PA will maintain quiet in Gaza to boost reconstruction efforts

Palestinian authority president vows that, "during this year and next year there won't be any type of clashes" in the coastal enclave.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
October 17, 2014 10:59
2 minute read.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas

US Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in New York, September 23. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas has vowed that his government will aim to maintain quiet in Gaza in the near future in order to encourage financial support for reconstruction in the coastal enclave.

The PA president's remarks came in the wake of a donor conference in Cairo, during which nations pledged $5.4 billion to help rebuild Gaza from damage sustained during Operation Protective Edge.

However, the longevity of the August cease-fire that ended the seven-week conflict between Israel and Hamas concerned donors - especially the US, Palestinian news agency Ma'an cited Abbas as telling a group of businessmen Thursday in Ramallah.

He added that he was engaged in dialogue with US Secretary of State John Kerry regarding the cease-fire, and told Washington that the PA was taking responsibility to uphold it.

"I told him I am not a psychic, but during this year and next year there won't be any type of clashes," Ma'an quoted the PA president as saying.

US Secretary of State John Kerry pledged $212m. of aid in addition to previous US contributions.

Abbas reiterated that the PA government would regulate aid for the reconstruction of Gaza and send it to "the correct address," nodding toward fears that materials will end up in the hand of terror groups like Hamas.

On Tuesday, truckloads of cement and steel to repair damage to private homes from this summer’s war with Hamas rolled into the Gaza Strip for the first time in a year.

Israel simultaneously announced that produce from Gaza could soon be marketed in Palestinian areas of the West Bank, something that has not occurred in over five-years.

Gaza’s ability to trade with the West Bank is one of the critical factors necessary for its economic recovery.

Cement to rebuild and the ability to market goods to the West Bank and Israel were two of Hamas’s demands in all of its indirect cease-fire negotiations with Israel.

While no formal cease-fire agreement has been reached between Israel and Hamas since the end of the summer war, the United Nations recently brokered an deal with Israel and the PA to create a monitoring mechanism to ensure that building material is not diverted to Hamas for use in rebuilding the tunnels Israel destroyed during the fighting.

Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.


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