Cost of rebuilding Gaza is €6bn as 17,000 homes ruined
Published 05/09/2014 | 02:30
Rebuilding Gaza will cost €6bn the Palestinian Authority said yesterday in the most comprehensive assessment yet of damage from the seven-week war with Israel.
The cost of rebuilding 17,000 Gazan homes razed by Israeli bombings would be €3.5bn billion, the Authority said, and the energy sector needed €300m million after the Strip's only power plant was destroyed by two Israeli missiles.
"The attack on Gaza this time had no precedent, Gaza has been hit with a catastrophe and it needs immediate help because many things can't wait long," Mohammed Shtayyeh, a Palestinian economist and a senior member of the West Bank's dominant Fatah party, told reporters in Ramallah.
Rebuilding Gaza would depend heavily on foreign aid and would require an end to Palestinian rivalry and Israel opening its border crossings, said Mr Shtayyeh, who heads the Palestinian Economic Council for Research and Development (PECDAR), which ran the survey.
But none of the factors mentioned by Mr Shtayyeh appeared forthcoming. A donor conference in Cairo has yet to be formally scheduled, Palestinian institutions remain divided between Gaza and the West Bank and Israel has yet to ease fundamentally the movement of people and goods at its Gaza border.
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The PA's assessment also found that the Strip's education sector would need around $143 million to get back on its feet. About half a million children have been unable to return to their schools due to damage or because the buildings are being used to house refugees.
Over 106,000 of Gaza's 1.8 million residents have been displaced to UN shelters and host families, the UN says. The remaining billions of dollars in the PECDAR assessment, which was compiled by 13 experts resident in Gaza and their research teams, were allocated to the financial, health, agriculture, and transportation sectors, all of which suffered widespread damage during the war. The assessment also earmarked $670 million for an airport and sea port, which Mr Shtayyeh said.
It is estimated that the war claimed the lives of over 2,100 Palestinians, mostly civilians along with 64 Israeli soldiers.