$4 billion "direct costs" to rebuild Gaza: Palestinian government

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Al-Akhbar Management

Published Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Palestinian government on Thursday in a reconstruction plan for Gaza ahead of an October 12 donor conference called for $4 billion to rebuild the war-battered enclave after the 50-day Israeli offensive operation on Gaza.

Gaza's infrastructure was devastated during Israel’s military attack which killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians, mostly civilians, while rockets launched by Hamas fighters killed 73 on the Israeli side, mostly soldiers.

The 76-page report, released ahead of the donor conference in Cairo, said $4 billion (3.2 billion euros) would be needed for the "direct costs" of rebuilding the besieged coastal territory.

It would include $1.9 billion for public and private infrastructure repairs, and $1.2 billion for "reactivating economic productivity,” according to The National Early Recovery and Reconstruction Plan for Gaza.

The government's priority would be "removal of rubble and removal of ERWs,” or unexploded shells and missiles from the war, which it estimated to number 5,000 inside Gaza.

It would then repair Gaza's power station, which was struck during the aggression, and work on access to drinking water, healthcare and education.

The "largest expenditure" would be on housing, it said.

More than 100,000 Gazans are homeless after the attack, which ended August 26.

The report also urged Israel to lift its blockade on Gaza, which has been in place since 2006.

"Free movement of people and goods will catalyse Gaza, catapulting it from its current crisis into socio-economic sustainability. Freedom of access must be guaranteed. The borders must be opened. Trade must flow. People must travel," it said.

The International Monetary Fund has called for curbs on the movement of goods and people to be relaxed to enable Gaza's economic recovery, and the World Bank has warned of a resumption of violence should the economy fail to improve.

The report also called for an additional $4.5 billion in budget support to the Palestinian government to maintain reconstruction and support government institutions in Gaza and the West Bank.

Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and the Islamist movement Hamas agreed last month on the return of a unity government to Gaza.

Hamas relinquished control of the Strip under an April unity deal, but it remained in de facto control until after the war.



Rockets did not kill those seventy three Israeli soldiers. Does any non-Hezbullah Lebanese understand the warrior concept?
Speaking of fake democracies, this four billion dollar estimate for bribery to top PA "officials" is higher than the previous estimate. I'll tell you why. Each new offer sweeps lower into the hierarchy of PA "officials", but the layer next below the latest included layer immediatety acquires the opportunity to blackmail that latest layer of bribe-pension-vacation-fund recipients: "Oh, look, Mohammed has come into several new BMW's recently."
It might be cheaper to try democracy.

"... while rockets launched by Hamas fighters killed 73 on the Israeli side, mostly soldiers."

That's wrong on a couple of levels:

1. Rockets were launched by fighters from every faction, not only Hamas.

2. Palestinian ground fighters, not rockets, inflicted most Israeli casualties.

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