Norway and Egypt Gathering Funds to Rebuild Gaza
Norway announced on Monday that a group of international donors are to meet in Cairo to pledge funds for rebuilding the Hamas stronghold of Gaza, as soon as a truce deal is reached.
The funds are to be raised under the proxy of Egypt and Norway, and will be transferred to Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Norweigan Foreign Minister Borge Brende declared Monday according to AFP.
"We cannot expect the international community to finance reconstruction once again" without prior conditions, Brende said, noting the three counter-terror operations since 2008 caused by Hamas terror wars against Israel.
However, Brende's conditions consisted of pressing Israel to remove its blockade on the Hamas terror enclave, saying "keeping people hemmed in and on the brink of famine will not guarantee the security of Gaza's neighbors."
Norway has already been taking the lead in pushing for the demands of the Hamas terrorist organization, announcing recently that it and Turkey would be willing to operate a seaport in Gaza. Turkey reportedly surpassed Iran in 2012 as Hamas's lead financial sponsor.
Hamas's demand for a seaport, as well as for an airport in Gaza, have been reportedly postponed for discussion a month after a truce deal is reached in Cairo.
Hamas has already made clear that such a truce deal would only be meant to plan for the next terror war on Israel, preparations that would be aided by international funds and construction materials which could be used to build more terror tunnels.
The promise for international funds come as the current ceasefire between Israel and Gaza is set to expire on Monday at midnight, prompting preparations in Israel for renewed rocket fire including the cancellation of train service from Ashkelon to Sderot.
Norway has been highly critical of Israel around Operation Protective Edge, with Brende in July calling on Israel as an "occupier" to show "restraint" in the escalation leading up to the current conflict.
“As the occupying power in the West Bank, Israel has a special responsibility under international law. Neither statements of its intent to step up its settlement policy in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which is in violation of international law, nor major offensives against Gaza are the way forward," claimed Brende.