Qatar and Egypt agree to supply fuel and building materials to Gaza | News from Gaza

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An agreement was reached in Oslo on Wednesday at a meeting of an international group of donors for the Palestinians.

Qatar and Egypt have signed agreements to supply fuel and basic construction materials to the Gaza Strip, the Qatari Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday.

The announcement was made in Oslo by Soltan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi, Qatari Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, during a ministerial meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), the international donor group for the Palestinians.

“His excellence [Al-Muraikhi] noted the importance of the current agreements, facilitating the movement of travelers through the Rafah border post and communication between all parties to calm the situation in the region,” the Qatari Foreign Ministry said in a statement. declaration.

The announcement comes as Gaza pushes for reconstruction after an 11-day war with Israel in May. Authorities in Gaza say around 2,200 homes were destroyed in the Israeli shelling of the enclave and 37,000 were damaged, according to the Reuters news agency.

The fighting has killed at least 253 Palestinians, including dozens of children. Rockets launched by Hamas and other groups killed 13 people in Israel, including two children, according to Israeli officials.

Following a May 21 ceasefire brokered by Egypt, access to reconstruction funds and materials has been a key Hamas demand. Israel, which has imposed a land, air and sea blockade on Gaza since 2007, is restricting the entry of building materials into the territory, saying Hamas uses them to make weapons to carry out attacks.

But following an agreement with the United Nations and Qatar, Israel allowed financial aid from the Gulf state to enter Gaza.

Gaza officials estimate that it will take $479 million to rebuild homes and infrastructure damaged in the May fighting. Qatar and Egypt have each pledged $500 million for the reconstruction of Gaza.

The United States, which attended the AHLC on Wednesday, called the meeting an “important opportunity” to support Palestinian economic development.

“During the discussion, the United States reaffirmed the American commitment to advancing equal measures of prosperity, security and freedom for Israelis and Palestinians, which is important in itself but also as a means of move toward a negotiated two-state solution in which Israel lives in peace and security alongside a viable Palestinian state,” the US government said in a statement.

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