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Rebuilding Gaza will fail without peace

GENEVA, Switzerland, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Without the political will for lasting peace, rebuilding Gaza will likely fail, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross said.

ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger said Thursday that while reconstruction of Gaza is critical following Hamas' recent conflict with Israel, establishing a credible plan with legitimate political will for lasting peace remains the foundation for any rebuilding success, the ICRC reported.

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Kellenberger said Palestinians are still facing serious challenges in the rebuilding effort more than a month after the end of the war. Speaking ahead of the Gaza relief conference scheduled for Monday in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Kellenberger called on all sides of the conflict to take steps forward to lay the groundwork for peace and sustainable economic development in the region.

"Reconstruction is extremely important to help the people of Gaza onto their feet again," Kellenberger said in a statement.

"But it is unlikely to succeed unless there is a prospect of a lasting peace. Humanitarian action can be no substitute for an honest and courageous peace process involving all states, political authorities and organized armed groups that can influence the situation."

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