SHARM EL-SHEIK, Egypt, March 2 (UPI) -- The United States has pledged $900 million in humanitarian and development aid to Palestinian Arabs, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday.
Clinton made the announcement Monday while speaking at an international conference in Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt, to raise funds for the Gaza Strip.
"By providing humanitarian assistance to Gaza, we also aim to foster conditions in which a Palestinian state can be fully realized -- a state that is a responsible partner, is at peace with Israel and its Arab neighbors and is accountable to its people; a state that Palestinians everywhere can be proud of and is respected worldwide."
Clinton has determined that the $300 million earmarked for rebuilding Gaza in the wake of a 22-day Israeli military campaign should be kept out of the hands of Hamas, the enclave's militant rulers, The Washington Post reported.
Without mentioning Hamas, Clinton said, "We have worked with the Palestinian Authority to install safeguards that will ensure that our funding is only used where, and for whom, it is intended, and does not end up in the wrong hands."
The remaining $600 million has been pledged for the Palestinian Authority, which is controlled by Hamas' rival Palestinian faction Fatah. It is meant to pay wages and to support reform and development in the West Bank, State Department spokesman Robert Wood told reporters.
The donations are subject to U.S. congressional approval.