Qatar says it will contribute $500 million for Gaza reconstruction

Qatar announced on Wednesday that it would provide $500 million for Gaza’s reconstruction after the coastal enclave was battered by Israeli airstrikes in 11 days of hostilities between the Jewish state and Palestinian terrorists earlier this month.

“The state of Qatar announces $500 million in support for the reconstruction of Gaza,” Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani tweeted.

Qatar is a key backer of the Islamist terror group Hamas that controls the Gaza Strip.

The funds aim to help Gazans “face the life challenges posed by the recent Israeli attacks, and to contribute to the reconstruction of service facilities in Gaza… in addition to the homes that were destroyed,” the official QNA news agency said.

Al-Thani also vowed in a statement that Qatar will continue to support Palestinians so as to reach “a just and lasting solution by establishing their independent state in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative,” referring to a Saudi-backed peace initiative first offered in 2002.

Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani meets with his Egyptian counterpart at Tahrir Palace in the center of the Egyptian capital Cairo, on May 25, 2021. (Khaled Desouki/AFP)

Several countries have pledged funds to help reconstruct Gaza. Qatar’s regional rival Egypt has said it will also spend $500 million on reconstruction efforts. The United States has promised $37.5 million in immediate relief to the Gaza Strip, with millions more in development assistance to be distributed later.

Qatar has funneled cash into the blockaded, Hamas-ruled enclave for years with Israeli approval. The Gulf state had already pledged $360 million in aid to Gaza at the beginning of the year.

The announcement came amid diplomatic efforts to solidify a fragile Egypt-brokered truce that halted the fighting, with plans to rebuild Gaza.

Al-Thani visited Cairo on Wednesday, as ties improve between the countries after a January declaration ended a diplomatic crisis that began in 2017 with a rift between Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain on one side and Qatar on the other.

The latest military confrontation between Israel and Hamas ended in a ceasefire early last Friday. It began on May 10 when Hamas launched a massive rocket barrage on Israeli cities, sparking IDF retaliatory strikes and 11 days of fighting, leaving 13 dead in Israel and over 240 fatalities in Gaza. The Israeli army said most of those killed in Gaza were terror combatants.

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