Nearly $3 Billion Pledged for Gaza

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CBNNews.com - CAIRO, Egypt - Representatives of more than 70 countries are meeting in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh Monday to pool their resources to reconstruct buildings in the Gaza Strip damaged during Israel's three-week military operation.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is among the delegates pledging millions of dollars in reconstruction aid. According to some sources, the U.S. is prepared to invest up to $300 million in aid to Gaza.

Following the summit, Clinton will meet with representatives of the Quartet (United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia), including EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, before traveling to Israel Monday evening.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu told several foreign officials that investing in reconstruction in Gaza while Palestinians continued rocket fire on southern Israel was not a sound plan.

According to The Jerusalem Post, Netanyahu said he would not sacrifice Israel's security for the sake of a smile.

On Sunday, European Union Middle East envoy Tony Blair made his first visit to the Gaza Strip.

"This money will not have a lasting impact unless there is a political solution. It is ultimately in politics that the solution lies," Blair said.

Hamas, the Palestinian faction controlling the Gaza Strip, was not invited to the summit.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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