Gaza construction operation following the 11-day war with Israel is too slow to meet the urgent needs of war-stricken community.
A year has passed since Israel conducted a catastrophic 11-day military attack on Gaza. The offensive was Tel Aviv’s fourth deadly attack against Palestinian land in less than 15 years.
Over 260 people lost their lives in the attack according to official statistics, among them 67 children. UN data confirmed that Israeli airstrikes injured over 2,200 people.
According to Tel Aviv, the attack was necessary in reaction to Gaza’s firing of rockets and other weapons. The media campaign of Israeli leaders made its attempt to accuse the Palestinian rulers for the violence.
Rockets launched from Gaza claimed 13 lives from the Israelis during the 11-day period.
The bid for the Gaza construction started once the war ended in May 2021, but just in media. The political obstacles and security and territorial restrictions, however, impeded the smooth process of the re-construction operation.
“Over the past year, we have received many promises of reconstruction from the UNRWA and the United Nations to no avail,” says a man whose apartment was fully destroyed during the war. The man left the house following a phone call from Israelis who let him 15 minutes before striking the house.
“Equipping my apartment costed me about $80,000 and, in seconds, it evaporated in front of me.” The man is one among thousands of people who’ve been wandering for a whole year after the war. International organizations, along with hollow vows by Israeli officials, provided little, if any, assistance in revving the life of this group.
“War created disasters in our lives, we were safe in our home, and suddenly we found ourselves injured and wounded, and we lost our home in moments,” another man told reporters.
Gaza Construction Failure
The severity of the attack in May was notable, as was the damage of civilian houses and facilities.
The UN statistics says around 1,770 dwellings were subject to whole of partial demolition. A total of 22,000 units also received serious damages. According to Gaza officials, the damages led to the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian people.
Israeli strike destroyed four skyscrapers along with over 70 municipal areas in the Gaza strip. Local official believe that the Gaza construction is disappointing and the process might lead to serious societal issues.
Only 200 dwelling units have been repaired while another 1500 unites are yet to receive funds for reconstruction, according to an official at the Gaza Office of Public Works.
As for the houses the were subject to partial demolition, the condition was better. According to Naji Sarhan, 70% of the buildings have been renovated, with the remainder requiring more finance.
The damages in the last offensive are projected to be $497 million, according to the same source. Palestinians need a total of $160 million to repair the properties that have inflicted damages or ruins.
“The 14-year Israeli-Egyptian blockade on the Strip has imposed many obstacles on the Gaza construction process. Israel bans building materials coming through its border crossings, resulting in worsening living circumstances for Palestinians in Gaza.”
Since the battle eight years ago, there have been around 1,300 badly damaged dwelling units and 70,000 with some destruction whose restoration were under-funded. Despite this, only two countries have vowed to help with reconstruction, each giving $500 million.
Three months after May offensives in 2021, Israel agreed to lift limitations on building supplies entering Gaza. Nonetheless, Gaza officials confirmed that Israel keeps up with exerting pressure on donors to refrain from funding Gaza construction efforts.