Palestinians seek $2.8bn for rebuilding Gaza

The rival Palestinian governments, US-backed moderates in the West Bank and the Islamic militants of Hamas in Gaza, has presented competing plans for rebuilding war-ravaged Gaza, each seeking roughly $2.8 billion in foreign aid.
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Updated on Feb 26, 2009 07:17 AM IST
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AP | By, Gaza City

The rival Palestinian governments, US-backed moderates in the West Bank and the Islamic militants of Hamas in Gaza, has presented competing plans for rebuilding war-ravaged Gaza, each seeking roughly $2.8 billion in foreign aid.

The moderates, led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, believe they can raise the full amount at an international pledging conference for Gaza in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheik next week. Saudi Arabia has already promised USD 1 billion and the US is expected to contribute about USD 900 million.

However, Gaza would need open borders and an internationally accepted government for reconstruction to move forward smoothly. At the moment, it has neither.

Hamas is widely shunned as a terror group, and Israel and Egypt have kept Gaza cut off from the world since the militants seized the territory in June 2007, leaving Abbas only in control of the West Bank.

In one scenario, Hamas and Abbas would reconcile, form a joint government and bring about an end to the blockade. Representatives of Hamas and Abbas' Fatah movement launched a new round of reconciliation talks Tuesday, but chances for success are seen as slim because of deep distrust between the two sides.

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