• eng
21:13 GMT +3 hours19 December 2014
Live
World

Saudi Arabia to give $1 billion for Gaza reconstruction

World
200
Saudi Arabia will donate $1 billion to rebuild the Gaza Strip after Israel's military operations in the enclave over the last three weeks, the country's king announced at a summit on Monday.
MOSCOW, January 19 (RIA Novosti) - Saudi Arabia will donate $1 billion to rebuild the Gaza Strip after Israel's military operations in the enclave over the last three weeks, the country's king announced at a summit on Monday.

"I announce on behalf of your brothers in Saudi Arabia that the kingdom will offer $1 billion as a contribution under the program proposed by this summit for the reconstruction of Gaza," King Abdullah announced at an Arab League economic summit in Kuwait.

Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah opened the summit with an announcement that Kuwait would pledge $34 million to UNRWA, the UN relief agency for Palestinian refugees, to help the agency's work in Gaza.

There has been an estimated $1.5 billion worth of damage to the Gaza Strip from Israel's airstrikes and ground assault.

Discussions at the forum, which was established two years ago by Kuwait and Egypt and brings together more than 20 Arab nations, have focused on the situation in the Gaza Strip, as well as the economic and political situation in the Middle East.

Israel started pulling troops out of Gaza on Sunday, more than three weeks after the start of its assault on the Palestinian enclave of 1.5 million. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has promised European leaders that Israel will finish the process "as soon as possible."

Israel declared a unilateral ceasefire at 2 a.m. local time (0000 GMT) on Sunday, saying it had achieved all its objectives. Several hours after Israel's announcement, Hamas, which runs Gaza, also declared an immediate ceasefire, adding that the militants had given Israel a week to withdraw its troops.

Israel launched its attack on Gaza on December 27, targeting Hamas infrastructure in a bid to put an end to rocket attacks by Palestinian militants on Israeli border towns. The military operation left over 1,300 Palestinians dead, the majority of them civilians. Thirteen Israelis, 10 of them military personnel, lost their lives in the fighting.