Hugh Naylor reports: International donors are wary of funding another rebuilding effort in Gaza, with the European Union divided over increasing pressure on Israel for a lasting solution to the Palestinian issue.
“There’s huge concern that whatever we help rebuild will be destroyed again,” said a European diplomat in charge of his country’s development aid in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
“We need fundamental changes to the situation on the ground so that we don’t repeat what keeps on getting repeated.”
Palestinian officials said last week the Israeli offensive that began on July 8 caused US$6 billion (Dh22bn) worth of damage. Nearly 1,900 Palestinians, mostly civilian, have been killed so far.
The onslaught destroyed important infrastructure, homes, and even entire neighbourhoods, including Shujaieh, Beit Hanoun and Khuzaa.
Palestinian officials said the destruction from the latest offensive surpassed that from Israel’s eight-day war in 2012 and even its three-week onslaught that began in December 2008 and killed at least 1,400 Palestinians.
But the United Nations and countries that fund development and reconstruction projects in the aid-dependent Palestinian territories fear that any new investment in Gaza, which has been under a blockade imposed by Israel since Hamas took over in 2007, could be futile if the underlying causes of the conflict are not addressed. [Continue reading…]