The Palestinian Prime Minister in Gaza has claimed that his government has been able to break the territory's international isolation thanks to official delegations to foreign capitals. Ismail Haniyeh pointed out that the resulting agreements signed with other countries, along with his own and colleagues' overseas tours, have helped to normalise external links around the world.
A report issued by the information office of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers regarding government activities and the most important visits conducted by state officials, reveals that external relations have grown in the first six months of 2012.
Visits internationally and across the region, including to donor countries and institutions, have all contributed significantly to breaking the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip for more than six years.
Mr Haniyeh, the report pointed out, conducted an overseas tour which included Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iran and the UAE, during which he met presidents, kings and princes of those countries, in addition to many senior political figures.
Agreements reached with foreign states means that preliminary approval has been given for the construction of "Sheikh Khalifa City" on 110 acres of land, the cost of which is around $50 million. In addition, details are given in the report of the agreement signed with the Qatar Charity Foundation, under which the charity will build and rehabilitate 75 houses for the disabled and poor at an approximate cost of $1.5 million, funded by the Islamic Development Bank.
Training in governance and related affairs will be conducted thanks to an agreement signed with the Council of Ministers in Lebanon. The Iranian government, meanwhile, has agreed to award scholarships for all academic disciplines and levels, and a variety of training courses. Other education support is to be provided by the new government in Tunisia.
More than $2.5 million has been donated by Turkish and international organisations to construct 22 mosques in Gaza. Many mosques were damaged and destroyed by the Israelis during their brutal assault and invasion of Gaza in 2008/9.