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Gaza to begin rebuilding homes destroyed in May conflict By Reuters


© Reuters. An Israeli strike damaged a Palestinian house in Khan Younis (southern Gaza Strip), September 26, 2021. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa


By Nidal al-Mughrabi

GAZA (Reuters) – The reconstruction of homes in Gaza that were destroyed or damaged in the May conflict between Israel and Hamas will begin in the first week of October using aid from Qatar, a senior Palestinian housing official said on Sunday.

The Hamas government in Gaza claims that Israeli air strikes damaged or destroyed 37,000 homes during the eleven-day conflict. Rockets from Hamas, an Islamist group in Gaza and others damaged homes in Israel.

According to Naji Sarhan (Gaza’s deputy minister of housing and public works), approximately 1,800 homes that were destroyed or severely damaged will be rebuilt during the initial phase.

In a statement, he said Israel has relaxed some restrictions regarding steel and cement entry to the territory. In a larger effort to improve Gaza infrastructure, Egypt repaired Gaza’s coastal main road.

Palestinian officials state that Israeli airstrikes on Gaza killed 250 Palestinians including 66 children. According to Israeli officials, 13 militant rockets claimed the lives of two children and their parents in Israel.

Hamas has demanded access to funds and construction materials after a ceasefire was reached with Egypt on May 21. Israel prohibits construction materials from entering Gaza because Hamas is using them to make weapons for its attacks.

Israel, however, allowed $20 million of Gulf aid to Gaza in this month’s accord with Qatar and United Nations. Sarhan stated that $50 million in Qatari funds will follow this disbursement. These funds are earmarked to rebuild homes.

According to Gaza officials, it will require $479million in order for Gazans to repair their homes and rebuild infrastructure that was damaged by fighting in May. Both Qatar and Egypt each have pledged $500 millions for Gaza reconstruction.

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