US planning "substantial" contribution at Gaza conference

Other News Materials 24 February 2009 03:51 (UTC +04:00)

The United States intends to provide a "substantial" amount of aid for rebuilding the Gaza Strip in the wake of the three-week Israeli assault in the tiny enclave, a US official said Monday.

"We want to give a substantial contribution" next month at the Egyptian-hosted donor conference, the official said, without providing a figure, dpa reported.

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to attend the international conference March 2 in Sharm el-Sheikh.

The Bush administration had previously proposed 85 million dollars in aid during the three weeks of fighting in December and January.

Any amount the United States gives to the Palestinians in Gaza will be routed through the United Nations or other international organizations because Hamas, regarded by Washington as a terrorist organization, controls Gaza.

US aid to Gaza would have to be approved by Congress.

Israel launched a massive assault into Gaza in response to rocket attacks by Hamas. More than 1,400 Palestinians died in the conflict.