Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged $100 million of his country’s money to help reconstruct the Gaza Strip. Abe’s pledge follows this past summer’s 50-day war, initiated by the Hamas terror group, which left much the territory in ruins. As a result of Hamas’s aggression, dozens of Israelis and thousands of Palestinians died in the conflict.
During a joint press conference with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Abe said, regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict: “We are concerned about the deteriorating situation between the two sides since the last year. I exchanged views with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Abbas and found they are real friends.”
Abbas thanked the Japanese Prime Minister for his appearance, stating that “Palestinians will never forget Japan’s support for Palestine.” Abbas continued, demanding that the Israeli choose either “peace or settlement expansion,” which refers to Israeli Jews building houses in disputed lands.
Abe’s announcement comes as the Islamic State terror group has demanded a sum of $200 million dollars for the release of two of its citizens. In a video released on Tuesday, an ISIS jihadist threatened that, should Japan not pay the ransom money within 72 hours, they would kill Japanese hostages Kenji Goto Jogo and Haruna Yukawa.
The jihadist in the ISIS video addressed Japanese PM Abe directly: “To the Prime Minister of Japan: Although you are more than [5,280] miles from the Islamic State, you willing have volunteered to take part in this crusade.” He added, “you now have 72 hours to pressure your government into making a wise decision by paying the $200 million to save the lives of your citizens. Otherwise, this knife will become your nightmare.”