Participants at an international donor conference in Cairo on Sunday pledged $5.4 billion toward reconstructing Gaza, after it was battered by months of bombardment by Israel. The total was boosted by a hefty $1 billion from oil-rich Qatar. The U.S. pledged $212 million. Half of the total promised is to be used for rebuilding efforts in Gaza, and the remainder is intended to support the budget of the Palestinian Authority though 2017. The sum is much lower than the $8.5 billion Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas requested, but Western officials said contributions could grow, given that some nations such as the United States made their pledges on an annual basis. Diplomats warned that rebuilding efforts could be jeopardized if a solution is not found for the cycle of violence between Israel and Hamas.
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