Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi reiterated Egypt’s support for the Palestinian people Sunday at the Gaza Reconstruction Conference in Cairo, where he opened the conference addressing Israel that it is “time to end the conflict”.
Al-Sisi said the conference comes as part of continued Egyptian efforts to save lives and as a starting point to fulfill the dream of co-existence between Palestine and Israel. He added that the conference is also aiming to reach the aspired peace in the region.
Following Al-Sisi’s address Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned Israel for breaking treaties and conventions and not letting go of ambitions to take over Palestine. Part of the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) goal in attending the conference is to raise $4bn to rebuild the Gaza Strip following a summer of heavy conflict.
“The Palestinian economy cannot continue to be hostage to Israel,” Abbas said.
Egypt and Norway are co-hosting the conference in conjunction with US Secretary of State John Kerry, Middle East Quarter envoy Tony Blair, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon among the attendees.
Al-Sisi said the reconstruction process following the recent conflict, which ended on 26 August, requires permanent pacification, as well as for the PA to exercise its legitimacy.
“We must not fail the Palestinian people who put their hopes on this conference,” said Al-Sisi.
“The Palestinian issue has been and will always be the [most important] Arab issue,” he added. The Egyptian president highlighted not only the political role Egypt played during the 50 days of conflict, but also its humanitarian role in the delivery of food and medical supplies.
Abbas said that the three wars in the past six years have left more than 3,600 people dead, over 18,000 injured and heavy destruction of homes and infrastructure.
He stated that the Egyptian government will stand by the Gaza Strip and support it by all means. Besides, Palestine needs the support and funding of the international and regional community for reconstruction and sustainable peace following a governmental plan.
Abbas said that a sustainable solution should be reached instead of only holding conferences every two years.
Abbas promised his people to get them out of the chaotic state, saying: “Your suffering shook the conscience of the world.”