As nations and organizations pledged more than $5 billion to rebuild the war-ravaged Gaza Strip, several major donors said Sunday that this is the last time they will pay and urged Israel and the Palestinians to negotiate a final peace settlement leading to two separate states.
Appearing in Cairo at a conference of more than 50 donor nations, Secretary of State John F. Kerry announced that the United States would contribute an additional $212 million to Palestinians, including Gazans. “The people of Gaza do need our help, desperately — not tomorrow, not next week, but they need it now,” he said.
The U.S. has committed more than $400 million to aid Palestinians, Kerry said. A State Department breakdown suggests, however, that only part of the new money will go directly to Gaza. According to the department, $100 million would go toward bolstering the Palestinian Authority budget and $37 million would go toward Palestinian Authority “institutions,” including water infrastructure in the West Bank. Just $75 million would be set aside for urgent relief in Gaza.
The United States had committed $118 million for the Gaza effort and $84 million to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, which cares for Palestinian refugees.
The Palestinian Authority says $4 billion will be needed over the next three years to rebuild Gaza, which was devastated by Israeli artillery and missiles during the recent 50-day conflict. Some of that weaponry was provided by the United States, which gives Israel $3 billion a year in aid, most of it in the form of military assistance.