Brown urges international community to help reconstruct Gaza

February 6th, 2009 - 5:23 am ICT by IANS  

Gordon BrownLondon, Feb 6 (Xinhua) British Prime Minster Gordon Brown Thursday urged the international community to support the reconstruction of Gaza Strip.”More than a thousand innocent civilians - including over 300 children - lost their lives as a result of the conflict in Gaza. Thousands more have been displaced and injured, many more remain in dire need of food and medical attention,” Brown said during a joint press conference with visiting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas after talks in Downing Street.

“We must do everything we can to help rebuild Gaza and to provide humanitarian relief to families whose lives have been shattered.” said Brown.

“Britain will play its part. We have trebled our relief effort.”

“In addition to the already significant support of the UN agencies responding to the challenge, I have written to (Israeli) Prime Minister Olmert this week to urge him to allow full humanitarian access to those seeking to get food and medicines to those who need it.” he said, adding it was in Israel’s interests as well as those of the international community.

Brown said the international community should “do everything to ensure that the ceasefire can remain in place”.

“The countries of the region must show they will not tolerate an armed Hamas and do more to stop arms smuggling into Gaza. We should encourage dialogue and reconciliation between Palestinian leaders, and we must help rebuild Gaza’s economy to give hope that there can be a true peace dividend,” added Brown.

Abbas also urged the international community to continue sending aid for Palestinians.

“As far as reconstruction is concerned now, all the humanitarian help is coming into Gaza, although there are many saying that this aid is being stolen,” Abbas said.

“In spite of that, what we are saying is that the world must - must - keep sending humanitarian aid.”

“Now as far as the concession is concerned, the concession has to start today - yes, today - through the international organisations and agencies.” he noted.

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