Gaza’s public works and housing ministry and Qatar’s committee for the reconstruction of Gaza have announced the commencement of the first phase of Gaza’s reconstruction.
This followed Israel’s may offensive on the enclave, which, aside from leaving over 2000 Palestinians dead, destroyed over 4000 buildings, including 74 municipal institutions.
Qatar has promised 500 million dollars for the reconstruction effort, and Qatar, together with the UN, has started providing stipends directly to families from the strip.
However, the process of physical reconstruction has not yet commenced, with Israel initially blocking it in July and trying to link it to Israeli’s held by Hamas. Israel allowed a few trucks with construction material to enter the enclave; however, this only occurred after Palestinian border protests. Further, a wider opening is required to make a more substantive difference.
Speaking to Radio Islam International, Wafa Al Udaini, a journalist based in Gaza, expressed optimism that reconstruction may soon start and mindful of previous promises. The border crossings were noted to have been open for civilian movement.
On the issue of supposed dual-use items, including steel and cement, Udaini noted that this was mainly an excuse, especially since they could be directly transferred to residents themselves.
She also noted that this is mainly an attempt by Israel to punish the population for supporting “the resistance”, but this would not work.
She also decried the coronavirus’s impact on Gaza’s “already struggling” health infrastructure, with around a thousand being infected daily. Vaccine usage was limited owing to supply constraints, but Gazans were trying to survive.
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