Palestinian unity government holds first Gaza cabinet meeting
GAZA CITY - Agence France-Presse
Palestinian prime minister Rami Hamdallah (C) delivers a speech during a tour to some of the areas worst hit by the 50-day war between Israel and Gaza militants in July and August, Oct. 9. AFP PhotoPalestinian prime minister Rami Hamdallah convened his unity government's first cabinet meeting in Gaza on Oct. 9, months after it swore oath in the West Bank, an AFP correspondent said.
The meeting at the Gaza property of president Mahmud Abbas aims to show the international community a united Palestinian front ahead of a donors conference in Cairo to pledge aid for reconstruction of the war-battered coastal territory.
Hamdallah and his ministers gathered at the home in Gaza City after visiting some of the areas of the Strip worst-hit by a 50-day Israeli military operation against Palestinian militants.
"What we have seen today is dreadful and painful, and it has become clear to us that the rebuilding (of Gaza) is at the top of our list of priorities," he said as the meeting began.
The conflict, which ended on August 26, killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians, most of them civilians, and 73 on the Israeli side, mostly soldiers. It left 100,000 Gazans homeless.
Thursday's meeting was held just days ahead of a planned Gaza donors conference on October 12.
The Palestinians have called for more than $4 billion in aid to rebuild Gaza's infrastructure and provide humanitarian relief to the blockaded coastal territory, which is one of the most densely populated areas of the world.