SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association)-A delegation of Palestinian officials early Saturday left the West Bank for Jordan en route to Cairo to participate in an international donor conference for the Gaza Strip, a government spokesman said.
“The issue in question is very delicate, and requires all Palestinian efforts in order to support the government so it can rebuild what the (Israeli) occupation has ruined in the Gaza Strip,” said Ehab Bessaiso, the spokesman for the unity government.
The delegation includes Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, Deputy Prime Minister Muhammad Mustafa, Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, Finance Minister Shukri Bishara, and Minister of Agriculture and Social Affairs Shawqi al-Ayasa.
Gaza-based members of the delegation — Minister of Public Works Mufid Hasayna and Minister of Labor Mamoun Abu Shahla — are meeting the delegation in Egypt via the Rafah crossing, Bseiso said.
Bessaiso himself also joined the delegation.
Palestinian officials will hold meetings with Egyptian officials before the conference on Sunday, Bessaiso said.
He said the Palestinian Authority had submitted a $4 billion rebuilding plan.
“We hope the international community will provide this money.”
Palestinians also need the international community to guarantee Israel opens Gaza crossings to allow construction materials into the Strip for the rebuilding process, Bessaiso said.
He added that the unity government would work “tirelessly” to make that happen.
The recent Israeli military operation in Gaza killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians, the vast majority of whom were civilians, while attacks by Gaza militants killed 73 on the Israeli side, overwhelmingly soldiers.
Operation Protective Edge also destroyed or severely damaged some 18,000 houses, leaving 108,000 Palestinians homeless, according to UNOCHA.