Friday 30 September 2016

Cost of rebuilding Gaza is €6bn as 17,000 homes ruined

Philippe De Torres

Published 05/09/2014 | 02:30

The aftermath of an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City in August
The aftermath of an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City in August

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.

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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.

A Palestinian family looks through their damaged home after returning to Beit Hanoun town, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during the Israeli offensive, in the northern Gaza Strip August 5, 2014. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly
A Palestinian family looks through their damaged home after returning to Beit Hanoun town, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during the Israeli offensive, in the northern Gaza Strip August 5, 2014. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly
A Palestinian family rides a donkey cart past damaged homes after returning to Beit Hanoun town, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during the Israeli offensive, in the northern Gaza Strip August 5, 2014. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly
Palestinians sit next to their destroyed house after returning to the Shejaia neighbourhood, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during the Israeli offensive, in the east of Gaza City August 5, 2014. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
A general view of destroyed buildings in Beit Hanoun town, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during the Israeli offensive, in the northern Gaza Strip August 5, 2014. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly
The ruins of destroyed houses are seen in Beit Hanoun town, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during Israeli offensive, in the northern Gaza Strip August 5, 2014. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
Palestinians sit next to their destroyed house after returning to the Shejaia neighbourhood, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during Israeli offensive, in the east of Gaza City August 5, 2014. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
A Palestinian woman reacts after retuning to her badly damaged house in Beit Hanoun town, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during the Israeli offensive, in the northern Gaza Strip August 5, 2014. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
Palestinians search for their belongings amongst the ruins of their destroyed house after returning to it in the Shejaia neighborhood, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during an Israeli offensive, in the east of Gaza City August 5, 2014. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
Palestinians look at destroyed houses after returning to the Shejaia neighbourhood, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during the Israeli offensive, in the east of Gaza City August 5, 2014. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
Palestinians sit next to their destroyed house after returning to the Shejaia neighbourhood, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during the Israeli offensive, in the east of Gaza City August 5, 2014. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
A Palestinian woman searches for her belongings amongst the rubble of her destroyed house after returning to the Shejaia neighbourhood, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during Israeli offensive, in the east of Gaza City August 5, 2014. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
Palestinians sit next to their destroyed house after returning to it in the Shejaia neighborhood, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during an Israeli offensive, in the east of Gaza City August 5, 2014. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki (C) leaves the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague August 5, 2014. Al-Malki said on Tuesday after meeting prosecutors at the International Criminal Court that there was "clear evidence" that Israel committed war crimes in Gaza. REUTERS/Toussaint Kluiters/United Photos
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki leaves the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague August 5, 2014. Al-Malki said on Tuesday after meeting prosecutors at the International Criminal Court that there was "clear evidence" that Israel committed war crimes in Gaza. REUTERS/Toussaint Kluiters/United Photos
The ruins of destroyed houses are seen in the Shejaia neighbourhood, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during the Israeli offensive, in the east of Gaza City August 5, 2014. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki (C) leaves the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague August 5, 2014. Al-Malki said on Tuesday after meeting prosecutors at the International Criminal Court that there was "clear evidence" that Israel committed war crimes in Gaza. REUTERS/Toussaint Kluiters/United Photos
An Israeli soldier from the Nahal Brigade carries a weapon after returning to Israel from Gaza August 5, 2014. Israel pulled its ground forces out of the Gaza Strip on Tuesday and started a 72-hour ceasefire with Hamas mediated by Egypt as a first step towards negotiations on a more enduring end to the month-old war. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
A Palestinian woman leads a girl past destroyed buildings after returning to Beit Hanoun town, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during the Israeli offensive, in the northern Gaza Strip August 5, 2014. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly
Palestinians inspect a damaged building after it was hit by mistake by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel by Palestinian militants, in the West Bank town of Beit Sahur near Bethlehem August 5, 2014. IREUTERS/Ammar Awad
A Palestinian man gestures in front of a damaged building after it was hit by mistake by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel by Palestinian militants, in the West Bank town of Beit Sahur near Bethlehem August 5, 2014. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
An Israeli soldier from the Nahal Brigade carries a weapon after returning to Israel from Gaza August 5, 2014. Israel pulled its ground forces out of the Gaza Strip on Tuesday and started a 72-hour ceasefire with Hamas mediated by Egypt as a first step towards negotiations on a more enduring end to the month-old war. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
An Israeli soldier gestures from atop a tank after crossing the border back into Israel August 5, 2014. Israel pulled its ground forces out of the Gaza Strip on Tuesday and started a 72-hour ceasefire with Hamas mediated by Egypt as a first step towards negotiations on a more enduring end to the month-old war. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

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.

Read more: End of Gaza war doesn't translate into peace

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.

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