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Billions pledged at Cairo conference to rebuild Gaza

Several destroyed houses in Gaza City's Shejaiya neighbourhood. Credit: Rafael Yaghobzadeh/ABACAPRESS.COM

A conference in Cairo, aimed at raising money to rebuilding the Gaza Strip after it was devastated in a war between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas, has secured $5.4 billion in assistance.

Norway's Foreign Minister Borge Brende said: "The participants pledged around $5.4 billion, half of which will go towards rebuilding Gaza, and the assistance will be distributed in response to the daily needs of the Palestinian people."

Israel will allow Palestinians to visit Al-Aqsa mosque

Israel says it will allow 1,500 Palestinians to pray at Al-Aqsa mosque. Credit: AA / TT/TT News Agency/Press Association Images

The Israeli military says it is allowing hundreds of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to pray at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque for the first time since 2007.

The Israeli military says 1,500 Gazans will cross the border over the next three days although permits were restricted to people over the age of 60.

Palestinian women stand in front of a mural depicting Al-Aqsa mosque during a protest against the Gaza strip blockade. Credit: REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

Israel has restricted travel out of Gaza since Hamas took control of the enclave in 2007. Since then, Israel has not granted permits for Gazans specifically wanting to pray at the mosque which is Islam's third-holiest site.

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Palestinian children 'celebrate victory over Israel'

Palestinian children holding heavy weapons filled the streets of Gaza to "celebrate victory over Israel" on the third day of the latest ceasefire.

A truce, which took effect on Tuesday evening, ended seven weeks of fighting that has killed more than following more than 2,000 Palestinians and 70 Israelis.

Palestinian boys, sitting on the shoulders of Islamic Jihad militants, hold weapons during a rally celebrating 'victory'. Credit: Reuters
A Palestinian girl wearing a headband pictured during a rally in Gaza. Credit: Reuters

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UN: 'Humanitarian assistance will continue in Gaza'

The UN has tweeted that they will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza following the end of the recent conflict between the Israeli military and Hamas.

Three months of Gaza food aid 'costs £42 million'

Around £42 million is required for the World Food Programme to continue food assistance to Palestinians for the next three months, the organisation said.

They said: "To continue its food assistance programmes in Palestine, WFP requires approximately US$70 million (£42 million) for its humanitarian response in Gaza for a period of three months."

Since the beginning of the latest conflict, they added that they had provided daily emergency food rations to up to 350,000 displaced people in Gaza, while reaching more than 120,000 people with emergency vouchers.

As a convoy carrying food for 150,000 people entered Gaza for the first time since 2007 today.

Food convoy for 150,000 people reaches Gaza

A convoy carrying food for 150,000 people has entered Gaza for the first time since 2007, the World Food Programme has announced.

The aid reached the Rafah crossing from Egypt after a seven-hour drive from Alexandria, the organisation said. The convoy of 8 trucks was carrying 15,600 food parcels.

“The opening of the Rafah crossing for humanitarian aid provides a major opportunity to scale up aid delivery to Gaza and needs to be sustained,” WFP Country Director Pablo Recalde said.

British Muslim and Jewish leaders unite over Gaza

Palestinians in Gaza celebrate after the ceasefire was announced. Credit: Khatib Abed Rahim/ABACA

Muslim and Jewish leaders in the UK have issued an unprecedented joint statement, calling on both faiths to "export peace" to Gaza.

The Muslim Council of Britain and the Board of Deputies of British Jews made the joint call an open-ended truce was agreed in the Middle East.

Both Israel and Hamas have claimed victory following the recent conflict, which is thought to have claimed the lives of 2,143 Palestinians and 70 Israelis.

The MCB and the BoD said they condemned the civilian casualties and hoped for "lasting peace", while also stating Muslims and Jews should "get to know one another".

The death of every civilian is a tragedy, and every effort should be taken to minimise such losses. The targeting of civilians is completely unacceptable and against our religious traditions. We pray for a speedy end to the current conflict and for a lasting peace for all.

– Muslim Council of Britain and Board of Deputies of British Jews
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