Egypt and Norway to host donor conference for Gaza reconstruction

Norwegian foreign ministry says invitations will be extended once an agreement on a sustainable ceasefire has been reached.

August 18, 2014 09:39
1 minute read.
A PALESTINIAN man walks past the remains of a Khan Yunis mosque.

A PALESTINIAN man walks past the remains of a Khan Yunis mosque in the southern Gaza Strip early this week, which witnesses said was destroyed in an Israeli air strike.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

OSLO - Egypt and Norway plan to co-host a donor conference to help towards the reconstruction of Gaza once a durable ceasefire has been negotiated, the Norwegian foreign ministry said on Monday.

Cairo has been mediating talks between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators since the start of the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Oslo chairs the international donor group for the Palestinians. A five-day ceasefire is due to expire late on Monday.

"The invitations to the conference, to be held in Cairo, will be duly extended once an agreement on a sustainable ceasefire has been reached as a result of the ongoing talks in Cairo," the Norwegian foreign ministry said in a statement.

Qatar announced on Saturday that it has decided to donate $1,000 to each Palestinian family whose house was destroyed during Operation Protective Edge.

On Sunday, the Qatari Committee to Rebuild the Gaza Strip  said it would double its aid to displaced families.

Ahmed Abu Ras, director of the committee, said that at the beginning of the war Qatar provided the Gaza Strip with $5 million in aid.

In the second week of the war, Qatar doubled its financial aid, he said.

“Recently, the committee received an additional $13 million,” Abu Ras disclosed, adding that the Gulf state would continue to provide aid to the Gaza Strip to meet the needs of Palestinians.

He said that the Palestinians have presented Qatar with a list of demands that include electricity generators and heavy machinery to remove the rubble.  

In July, at the height of Israel's Gaza offensive, US Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the US was providing $47 million dollars in humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.

The aid included an initial $15 million contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in response to UNRWA’s $60 million Gaza Flash Appeal.

The remaining funds were earmarked for USAID humanitarian projects in the Palestinian coastal enclave, the US State Department said last month. 

Reconstruction in Gaza post-war will cost at least $6 billion, Palestinian Authority Deputy Prime Minister Mohammed Mustafa said earlier this month, estimating that 400,000 Gazans will need new homes.

Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.  

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