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Israel calls on region to rebuild, disarm Gaza

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel's finance minister says his country and other regional powers should work together to rebuild the Gaza Strip and disarm Hamas militants that rule the territory.

Yair Lapid made the remarks Sunday, about a week after Israel and Hamas militants reached a truce after almost two months of fighting that devastated parts of Gaza.

Lapid said the group should include Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Gulf countries, and hold a conference soon to discuss the matter.

Hamas has rejected demands it disarm, insisting it will never lay down its weapons.

Israel and Hamas agreed last Tuesday to an open-ended truce. The cease-fire brought an immediate end to the fighting but left key disputes unresolved.

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