Israel can begin counting down to next round of violence if it does not work with Gulf countries, US, EU, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, minister says.


Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) said Monday that Israel should work together with a range of international players to reach an agreement with the Palestinians that includes the dismantling of terror organizations in Gaza and maintaining control of the funds for the rehabilitation of the coastal territory.

“Next month the donor countries’ conference will convene. If we do nothing before this conference, there will be a conference for rehabilitation and we will receive nothing in return, by way of guarantees for our security needs,” Lapid said at Yesh Atid’s faction meeting in Tel Aviv.

Lapid called for a regional summit, with the participation of the US, EU, Egypt, the Gulf states, and Saudi Arabia, with the support of the donor countries to “create a structure in which Gaza is both rehabilitated and demilitarized.”

Lapid said that funds could be used to return control of Gaza to the Palestinian Authority and to return quiet to Israel’s southern residents.

“Without broad international support every attempt to reach an agreement will turn into a countdown until the next round of violence,” he said.

Earlier in the day, the Norwegian Foreign Ministry announcedthat Egypt and Norway plan to co-host a donor conference to help towards the reconstruction of Gaza once a durable cease-fire has been negotiated.

Cairo has been mediating talks between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators since the start of the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Oslo chairs the international donor group for the Palestinians. A five-day ceasefire is due to expire late on Monday.



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