Greece to contribute 1 mln towards Gaza reconstruction

Greece is to contribute 1 million euros for the reconstruction of Gaza following the recent conflict with Israel, Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos has announced.

Speaking at the International Gaza Reconstruction Conference in Cairo on Sunday, Venizelos revealed that Greece would add another 1 million to the 25.66 million it has contributed “for technical co-operation, financial support, education, health infrastructure, the social sector, as well as for humanitarian aid” between 2008 and 2012.

“Following the recent devastating conflict – the third in the last five years – Gaza finds itself in desperate and urgent need, not only of reconstruction, but – more broadly – of recovery and relief for its suffering population, and of restoration of normal daily living conditions, including through access to, and from, the outside world,” said Venizelos.

“We encourage Israel and the Palestinian Authority to seize the current opportunity and continue to engage in negotiations, under the auspices of Egypt, regarding a viable future for Gaza.”

Venizelos called on the Palestinian consensus government to “exercise its responsibilities in Gaza” and reiterated Greece’s support for the creation of a Palestinian state.

“Greece has always been a staunch supporter of the Palestinian people in their quest for statehood, dignity and national unity,” said Venizelos.

“No doubt, no ceasefire will be sustainable without a broader political perspective. Gaza cannot be seen in isolation from the wider Palestinian context, as it forms an integral part of the Palestinian territories, and its future is inextricably linked with the future of the West Bank,” he added.

“Therefore, it is indispensable that the political perspective be sustained for the establishment of an independent, viable and territorially contiguous State of Palestine, under a central government that maintains effective control across all Palestinian territories.”

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