International community representatives at the Gaza Reconstruction Conference in Cairo called Sunday for a lasting solution to the Gaza conflict to avoid another turn in the cycle of destructive conflict.
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi reiterated Egypt’s support for Palestine as he opened the conference, emphasising to Israel that it is “time to end the conflict”.
Al-Sisi said the conference comes as part of continued Egyptian efforts to save lives, aspire to regional peace, and to fulfil the dream of Palestinian and Israeli co-existence.
Following Al-Sisi’s address, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned Israel for breaking treaties and conventions and for continuing with ambitions to “take over” Palestine. Part of the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) goal in attending the conference is to raise $4bn to rebuild the Gaza Strip following a summer of heavy conflict.
“The Palestinian economy cannot continue to be hostage to Israel,” Abbas said.
Egypt and Norway are co-hosting the conference in conjunction with US Secretary of State John Kerry, Middle East Quarter envoy Tony Blair, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon among the attendees.
Al-Sisi said reconstruction following the recent 50-day conflict, which ended on 26 August, requires permanent pacification, as well as for the PA to exercise its legitimacy.
Photos by Ahmed Fouad \ Fady Fares