September 9, 2014 / 7:19 PM / in 3 years

Egypt to host Gaza reconstruction conference on October 12

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt will host a donors conference on the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip on October 12 in Cairo following the recent conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant movement Hamas, the Egyptian foreign minister said on Tuesday.

The announcement carried on the state news agency came after Norway’s foreign minister held talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Egypt and Norway will chair the international conference.

Rebuilding Gaza will cost $7.8 billion, the Palestinian Authority said this month, in the most comprehensive assessment yet of damage from a seven-week war with Israel during which whole neighborhoods and vital infrastructure were flattened.

The cost of rebuilding 17,000 Gazan homes razed by Israeli bombings would be $2.5 billion, the Authority said, and the energy sector needed $250 million after the Strip’s only power plant was destroyed by two Israeli missiles.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri said invitations to conference would be extended soon.

Fighting between Israel and the Islamist militant group Hamas during July and August in Gaza killed over 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, along with 64 Israeli soldiers and five civilians.

A ground incursion and bombing from the land, air and sea caused huge destruction in Gaza, while Palestinian rocket fire drove many Israelis from border communities, hit Israel’s summer tourism revenues and briefly shut down its main airport.

Reporting by Shadi Bushra; Editing by Michael Georgy and Raissa Kasolowsky

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