International envoys pledged about €4.3 billion ($5.4bn) in aid for Gaza at a meeting in Egypt, Norway's foreign minister said.

Half of the pledges will go for reconstruction and the rest as unspecified aid to the Palestinians, Boerge Brende said.

The donors "committed themselves to start disbursing their assistance as soon as possible," Mr Brende said.

Gas-rich Qatar led the way with a promise of $1 billion in aid to the coastal enclave.

The Palestinian Authority had asked for €3.2bn ($4bn) to reconstruct Gaza, left devastated after a 50-day conflict between Israel and Hamas militants in July and August.

US Secretary of State John Kerry earlier pledged $212m.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlie Flanagan was among the foreign ministers at the meeting.

The Government is to provide an additional €2.5m in funding to assist with the reconstruction and aid efforts.

Mr Flanagan said there has to be a new way forward for the people of Gaza.

He said the vicious cycle of violence cannot be allowed to continue and while the pledge of monetary aid was needed, a peace agreement is vital for the future of the area and its people.

Mr Kerry this afternoon called for a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, saying both sides had to be helped to make "tough choices" for lasting stability.

"Ceasefire is not peace," he told the conference.

"We got to get back to the table and help people make tough choices, real choices ... choices about more than just a ceasefire," Mr Kerry said.

He was speaking almost six months after his own bid to strike an elusive peace deal collapsed in April amid bitter recriminations by both sides.

Both Israel and the Palestinians have rejected new talks under old conditions, but Mr Kerry insisted the US was still ready to have another go.

"I say clearly and with deep conviction here today that the United States remains fully, totally committed to returning to negotiations not for the sake of it but because the goal of this conference and the future of the region demand it."

The US is committed to a so-called "two-state solution" under which Israel and a future Palestinian state would live side-by-side.

"I don't think there is any person here who wants to come yet again to rebuild Gaza only to think that two years from now, or less, we are going to be back at the same table talking of rebuilding Gaza because the fundamental issues have not been dealt with," Mr Kerry said.

"In the end we all want the same things. Security for the Israelis, freedom, dignity and a state for the Palestinians, peace and prosperity for both peoples."

Egypt, which brokered a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza after the 50-day war, has called for a wider peace deal based on a 2002 Arab initiative.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi opened today's meeting by calling for peace and putting the biggest Arab nation's weight behind the plan, put forward by Saudi Arabia at an Arab League summit in Beirut in 2002.

"We should turn this moment into a real starting point to achieve a peace that secures stability and flourishing and renders the dream of coexistence a reality, and this is the vision of the Arab peace initiative," said Mr Sisi.

The plan, rejected by Israel, offered full recognition of the Jewish state but only if it gave up all land seized in the 1967 Middle East war and agreed to a "just solution" for Palestinian refugees.