Turkey to give Gaza $200 million in aid

Turkey to aid Gaza with $200 million for reconstruction efforts

Updated Jul 28, 2015

On Friday, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry announced that Turkey will provide Gaza with $200 million for reconstruction efforts.

The $200 million is intended to help reconstruct the demolished Gaza Strip and go towards the sustainable development of Palestine.

The statement released by the Ministry outlined that the aid will go towards health and education services as well as the reconstruction of destroyed homes.

The reconstruction is expected to be launched soon and to be completed within a time frame of two years.

According to the statement, Turkey is donating the $200 million in keeping with the pledge its government made in October 2014, at the “reconstructing Gaza” conference held in Cairo, Egypt.

According to the United Nations, Israel’s deadly offensive in the summer of 2014 on the Gaza Strip left 2,160 Palestinians dead and over 11,000 injured.

12,400 houses were damaged, 160,000 were damaged and over 100,000 people were left homeless.

Prisoners Day protests

Meanwhile, hundreds of Palestinians joined protests at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, after the Friday prayer in East Jerusalem and in West Bank village of Bilin, near Ramallah April 17, to commemorate Palestinian Prisoners Day by chanting slogans and demanding prisoners be released.

Rally organizer Abdullah Abu Rahma said, “We will not leave our prisoners in jail alone.”

“We will defend their right to be released, because the majority of them have been arrested illegally by Israeli forces,” he added.

Prisoner’s day is held every year in solidarity with the more than 6,500 Palestinians in Israeli jails.

During the Friday sermon the grand mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, paid tribute to the estimated 6,500 prisoners remaining in Israeli prisons and detention camps.

There were reports of clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli soldiers during the rally in Bilin.

The protesters allegedly threw stones at Israeli troops, resulting in the soldiers responding with tear gas.

An AFP correspondent reported that a protester was wounded either by a gas canister or a rubber bullet.

Despite Israeli soldiers guarding the Mosque there were no clashes reported at Al-Aqsa.

According to the Palestinian human rights groups, the current number of prisoners detained in Israeli prisons and detention camps is the highest figure for at least five years.

A report released by the Palestinian Ministry of Detainees has said that, since 1967, more than 800,000 Palestinians have been arrested by the Israeli Army, including 15,000 women and thousands of children.

The youngest prisoner recently released, on April 14, was Khaled Al-Sheik - aged 15 - who was in prison for four months and was also fined $500. Al-Sheik was arrested on December 24, 2014, for allegedly throwing stones at Israeli military vehicles.

Al-Sheik also accused Israel of not respecting children, and said that he was insulted and hit on the head with rifle butts during his interrogation.

“I was insulted and beaten and held in shackles for hours in a small cell. This is the [Israeli] occupation. It will not scare us,” said Al-Sheik.

TRTWorld and agencies