US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Cairo on Sunday ahead of meeting with international officials as part of a conference to discuss the rebuilding of Gaza.
The conference hopes to raise billions of dollars towards efforts to rebuild those parts of Gaza hit during the recent war between Israel and Hamas. Kerry and 30 other officials will join UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in raising a record-breaking $1.6 billion in aid.
The Palestinian unity government released a 76-page reconstruction proposal ahead of the conference. The Palestinians are asking for $4 billion in funding, with majority of the funding going towards rebuilding homes for some 100,000 people left homeless by the conflict.
Kerry is expected to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the conference, State Department officials confirmed. The secretary is hoping to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
US Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on July 23, 2014, before the two sat down for a discussion about a cease-fire in fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. (Photo: US State Department)

“You will hear the secretary reaffirm the commitment of the United States to helping the parties achieve a negotiated two-state solution and our willingness to re-engage in the negotiations and help facilitate successful negotiations,” a US official stated.
“More broadly we are interested in sort of breaking the cycle we have been in the last six years of war and reconstruction there,” the official added.
Kerry headed the high-profile peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians back in July. Peace talks eventually collapsed in April and were followed by the 50-day war in Gaza, the third such conflict between Gaza and Israel in six years.
Kerry announced at the conference that the US will pledge $212 million towards reconstruction efforts in Gaza. European and Gulf nations are expected to make significant donations during the conference.


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