Gaza Rebuilding May Take 20 Years: Donors’ Conference To Be Convened Soon

By @diplomatist10 on
Smoke and sand are seen following an Israeli air strike in Gaza August 25, 2014.
Smoke and sand are seen following what witnesses said was an Israeli air strike in Gaza August 25, 2014. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Palestinian civilians on Sunday to leave immediately any site where militants are operating, one day after Israel flattened a 13-storey apartment block in Gaza. Palestinian health officials say 2,115 people, most of them civilians and more than 400 of them children, have been killed in the Gaza Strip since July 8, when Israel launched an offensive with the declared aim of ending Palestinian rocket fire into its territory.Sixty-four Israeli soldiers and four civilians in Israel have been killed. Reuters

War torn Gaza's battered housing stock will take at least 20 years in repair and reconstruction, according to an international organisation on post-conflict reconstruction.

Shelter Cluster, jointly operated by the U.N. refugee agency and Red Cross asserted that the complexities involved in reconstruction programme in Gaza Strip, are profound. Palestinian officials said it would more than $6 billion as investment, reported Huffington Post..

The biggest challenge to Gaza reconstruction comes from the blockade imposed by Egypt and Israel, enforced since the Islamic militant group Hamas seized the control of Gaza in 2007.

Severely restrictions on the import of concrete and other building materials into Gaza, imposed by Israel to stop militants from using it for building rockets and reinforce cross-border attack tunnels, will constrain the redevelopment activities.

Gaza Stats

The report prepared by Shelter Cluster said, about 17,000 Gaza housing units have been destroyed or severely damaged during the war and 5,000 units are still in need of work after the damage sustained in the previous military campaigns. To top it all, Gaza is facing a housing shortage of 75,000 units.

Shelter Cluster made its calculation of the time span for reconstruction, considering the capacity of the main Israel-Gaza cargo crossing that handles 100 trucks of construction materials a day.

However, there is a plan by Egypt and Norway to convene a Gaza donors' conference in October. The coastal town with a population of 1.8 million is densely populated. The 7-weeks war between Israel and Hamas killed 2,100 Palestinians, mostly civilians.

Meanwhile, Israel also showed some interest in the Gaza reconstruction. Finance Minister Yair Lapid was quoted in a report that Israel wanted Arab countries also to work together to rebuild the Gaza Strip while disarming the Hamas militants,

Cost of War

In a report, The Guardian reported, highlighted the fiscal burden on lsrael after the 50 days of war in Gaza. Israel is planning to tighten the belts, and prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu is planning to slash government spending by 2 percent this year to offset the $2.52 billion cost of the Gaza conflict.

The austerity will be spared only for the Israeli military and intelligence agency Shin Bet. The one area to be hit hard from the expenditure cut will be the Israeli education system, with poorest Israelis left to feel the brunt of the cuts.

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