Fayad pledges $600m. in aid to Gaza residents

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayad says his cash-strapped government will donate $600 million to help residents of the Gaza Strip rebuild homes shattered in Israel's 3-week offensive against Hamas. Fayyad said his West Bank-based administration will channel the money through commercial banks directly to recipients, bypassing the rival Hamas regime. Speaking to journalists Wednesday, Fayyad said he said he expected to be reimbursed by international donors. A conference to raise money for Gaza is slated to be held in Cairo later this month. The government of Fayad and PA President Mahmoud Abbas lost control of Gaza to Hamas in 2007 but is keen to regain a role there.