Expectations of the reconstruction of Gaza soon

 The Palestinian Undersecretary of the Ministry of Public Works and Housing, Naji Sarhan, expected today, Sunday, that the process of rebuilding the Gaza Strip would begin soon, pointing out that there are efforts by Arab parties with Israel to expedite and ensure that.

Sarhan told reporters in Gaza that efforts are being made by Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations with Israel to start soon the reconstruction process after it was delayed for several months.

Sarhan stated that the Israeli authorities are still preventing the transfer of funds allocated for the implementation of the reconstruction, expressing his hope that the issue will be resolved in the near future to begin putting the first touches to build what was destroyed during the mutual military operations last May.

Last May, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced an urgent Egyptian support of $500 million for the reconstruction of Gaza with the participation and implementation of specialized Egyptian companies. Qatar also announced a $500 million aid to Gaza residents.

Sarhan said that the joint Palestinian and Egyptian teams have completed more than 90 percent of the rubble removal over the past two months and are ready to start reconstruction if the funds allocated for that arrive.

The government official called on the international community to put pressure on lifting the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip and fully open the crossings to speed up the reconstruction process.

Sarhan confirmed that 50,000 families are in need of housing and humanitarian assistance. They are registered on waiting lists at the ministry and need to repair and restore their homes.

He added that 1,200 housing units were completely destroyed, in addition to about 1,000 uninhabitable units, and 40,000 partially and moderately damaged, as a result of the recent wave of tension, noting that the cost of the reconstruction of housing units amounted to about 165 million dollars.

Egypt sponsored a ceasefire agreement to end a wave of tension between the Palestinian factions and Israel from May 10 to 21, which resulted in the death of more than 250 Palestinians and the death of 13 people in Israel, as well as extensive destruction of buildings, residential homes and infrastructure in Gaza.

According to its officials, Israel links the reconstruction of Gaza and the introduction of humanitarian facilities to its residents with the return of 4 Israeli soldiers detained by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in Gaza.

Deputy Israeli Defense Minister Alon Schuster said, according to what was reported by Israel Public Radio, "The reality in Gaza will not improve unless significant progress is made on the issue of prisoners and missing persons."

Hamas has repeatedly expressed its refusal to link the reconstruction to the issue of liberating the soldiers, as it is a “humanitarian” file, warning that procrastination in this leads to a resurgence of tension.


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