Doha: Qatar announced on Wednesday that it will provide US$500 million for the reconstruction of Gaza, as the Palestinian enclave was hit hard by an 11-day Israeli air strike during the hostilities between the Palestinian state and Palestinian armed groups.
“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 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.
On May 10, Israeli and Palestinian armed groups had the worst exchange of fire in the area in several years. Prior to this, there was a clash at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site of the Islamic Mosque in Jerusalem, and the Jews also called it the Temple Mount.
During the 11 days of fighting, Israeli airstrikes and artillery fire in the Gaza Strip killed 254 Palestinians, including 66 children. The Gaza Ministry of Health said that more than 1,900 people were injured.
Rocket and other fire from Gaza claimed 12 lives in Israel, including one child and an Arab-Israeli teenager, an Israeli soldier, one Indian national and two Thai workers, medics say. Some 357 people in Israel were wounded.
Diplomatic efforts are underway to solidify a fragile Egypt-brokered truce that halted the fighting, with plans to rebuild the Gaza Strip where Israeli air strikes damaged infrastructure and levelled buildings.
Cairo also pledged 500 million US dollars last week for the reconstruction of the Palestinian enclave, which has been blocked by Israel for nearly 15 years.