Clinton Urges Aid for Gaza Reconstruction

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CBNNews.com - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has joined leaders from 80 other countries at an aid for Gaza conference in Egypt.

The Palestinian Authority is asking donors for nearly $3 billion, including more than a billion dollars to rebuild after the recent fighting between Israel and Hamas.

The U.S. pledged $300 million for Gaza and another $600 million for the Palestinian Authority.

But Clinton made clear that none of the money would go to Hamas.

"We have worked with the Palestinian Authority to install safeguards that will ensure our funding is only used where and for whom it is intended and does not end up in the wrong hands," she said during the conference.

This is Clinton's first foray into Middle East diplomacy. She has reaffirmed the Obama administration's commitment to a two-state solution, which demands that Israel and a sovereign Palestinian state co-exist in peace. The policy push was also the focus during the Bush administration.

"We cannot afford more setbacks or delays - or regrets about what might have been, had different decisions been made," Clinton said.

Meanwhile, Israel's Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu has asked donors why money should flood into Gaza before Hamas rockets stop falling on Israel.

More than 100 rockets have hit Israel since a cease fire began in mid-January. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has ordered a military response to the attacks.

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