Hamas gunmen prepare three men for execution
Hamas gunmen prepare three men for execution Reuters

International envoys pledged about $5.4 billion in aid for the Gaza Strip at a meeting in Egypt on Sunday, Norway's foreign minister said.

"The participants pledged approximately $5.4 billion (4.3 billion euros)," said Boerge Brende, reading out a closing statement at the Cairo conference which Norway co-hosted.

Half of the pledges will go for reconstruction and the rest as unspecified aid to the Palestinians, he said.

The donors "committed themselves to start disbursing their assistance as soon as possible," Brende said.

The conference aimed at financing the reconstruction of swathes of Gaza destroyed in a July-August war between Israel and Hamas.

Gas-rich Qatar led the way at the donors conference in Cairo with a promise of $1 billion in aid to the coastal enclave.

The Palestinians asked for up to $4 billion in international aid after Gaza suffered heavy damage in its 50-day summer war with Israel.

The United Arab Emirates and Kuwait also pledged $200 million each.

The international community insisted that Hamas's Gaza is in a "humanitarian crisis," in the conference of more than 50 international and corporate representatives in Cairo on Sunday. 

UN chief Ban Ki-moon told the donor conference Sunday that he would visit the Gaza Strip on Tuesday. "I will visit Gaza on Tuesday to listen directly to the people of Gaza," he said, adding he would also visit Israel "shortly."

Hamas officials have already stated that the conference is a means of"proving" that war works in the "struggle against the Israeli entity," and have hailed the conference as a victory in the PR war against Israel.