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PA demands that Israel should cover Gaza reconstruction costs

February 28, 2024 at 9:26 am

A man passes by a destroyed building while walking on asphalt roads, turned upside down by Israeli airstrike, as the withdrawal of the Israeli forces from some areas of Khan Yunis turns the city into a pile of rubble and ash in Khan Yunis, Gaza on February 25, 2024 [Yaser F.q. Qudaih – Anadolu Agency]

The Palestinian Authority demanded yesterday that Israel should bear the financial burden of rebuilding the Gaza Strip and demonstrate a greater commitment to maintaining the two-state solution, Anadolu has reported.

“Israel must be held accountable for the devastation and casualties in the Gaza Strip and assume the responsibility for its reconstruction,” said PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh during a meeting with Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs Tsuji Kiyoto in Ramallah.

Shtayyeh’s government will serve as a caretaker administration until a new government can be formed after he resigned on Monday. He condemned Israel’s actions, saying that it “perpetrates severe atrocities against the Palestinian people, fosters apartheid and behaves as if it is immune to legal consequences.”

He stressed that the priority is to halt the aggression against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including Jerusalem, and to open more crossings with the Gaza Strip to allow urgent humanitarian and medical aid to reach those in desperate need.

“We also need to see further efforts to preserve the two-state solution and implement it on the ground, achieving this by ending the occupation and recognising the state of Palestine within the 1967 borders with its capital in Jerusalem,” added the outgoing PA official.

Israel launched a deadly offensive on the Gaza Strip following the 7 October cross-border attack by the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, in which up to 1,200 Israelis are said to have been killed, many of them by tanks and helicopter gunships of the Israel occupation forces. Israel’s onslaught against the Palestinians in Gaza since October has killed at least 30,000 people and wounded 70,000 more.

The Israeli offensive has displaced 85 per cent of Gaza’s population amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine. According to the UN, 60 per cent of the enclave’s civilian infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, including hospitals, schools, places of worship and homes.

The occupation state stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Israel to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza. It appears to have largely ignored the court’s ruling.

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