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Gaza reconstruction aid on hold: Foreign Minister - Daily News Egypt

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Gaza reconstruction aid on hold: Foreign Minister

Hamas accuses unity government of "not living up to its responsibilities in Gaza"

Promises made at the Gaza Reconstruction Conference have not been kept “because of lack of trust in the international community”, Egyptian

The summer 2014 war between Israel and Hamas resulted in over 2,000 deaths and the destruction of some 7,000 homes in Gaza, according to the United Nations. (AFP File Photo)
The summer 2014 war between Israel and Hamas resulted in over 2,000 deaths and the destruction of some 7,000 homes in Gaza, according to the United Nations.
(AFP File Photo)

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said in a conference Sunday

“There is a clear and intended idleness in the operation of the reconstruction of Gaza,” top Hamas official Abu Marzouk also said on Sunday.

Shoukry also stated that indirect negotiations between Hamas and Israel “stumbled against a backdrop of escalation and a lack of enough political will from both parties”, state-run news agency MENA reported.

In a Sunday statement, Hamas slammed the Palestinian Unity Government, stating that “Gaza has seen no real progress” over the last six months since the unity government was created.

The statement demanded the unity government speed up the unification of the administrative system and to immediately start rebuilding “what the occupation has destroyed in Gaza”.

According to Palestinian news agency Ma’an, eight Palestinian ministers are to visit the Gaza Strip on Monday. This would be the unity government’s second meeting since 9 October.

On 12 October, Egypt and Norway co-hosted the Gaza reconstruction conference with the aim of “the reconstruction of Gaza”, after over a month of Israeli attacks on the strip.

Representatives from the international community and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas attended the conference, which raised over $5bn. The US pledged to donate an additional $212m in aid, and the UK announced it would donate $32.1m.

The most pressing need in the Gaza Strip is for construction material, Khalil Shaheed, the Director of the Economic and Social Rights Unit at the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in Gaza previously told Daily News Egypt.

“There has been a catastrophic deterioration of living conditions in the Gaza Strip” after the latest round of fighting, Shaheed said.

Israel and Egypt have enforced an economic siege on the Gaza Strip since Hamas won the elections and took power of the strip in 2007.

In the 2008-2009, 2012, and 2014 conflicts with Israel, a lifting of the blockade has been one of the main demands.

Human Rights Watch previously called the Israeli-Egyptian siege on Gaza “collective punishment” for Palestinians. It urged the donors at the Reconstruction Conference to press for an end to the seven-year blockade of the Strip.

Israeli strikes killed more than 2,200 Palestinian during the attacks on Gaza last summer, according to figures provided by UNOCHA.

Palestinian militant groups also killed 66 Israeli soldiers, a security coordinator, and four civilians, including a foreign worker.

Nearly 110,000 Palestinians have been left homeless due to the Israeli attacks’ destruction of infrastructure, according to Ma’an.

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