What the world builds, Israel bombs

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…]

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3 thoughts on “What the world builds, Israel bombs

  1. hquain

    At the risk of tediously pointing out the obvious, let’s note that this is surely one of the goals of the Israelis choice of tactics. Compared to their 19th and 20th century role models, they content themselves with restricted mortality and devastation — thousands, not tens or hundreds of thousands of casualties, for example; large scale but not complete destruction of property and infrastructure; short military actions, not total war. The aim can only to be terrorize (rather than outright exterminate) the locals — and, even more important, drive off anyone who tries to help them. There’s no particular hurry, and considerable rhetorical and material advantages to their slow and steady version of the familiar procedure.

  2. Joel Keller

    No mention is made to the hundreds of millions of dollars that Hamas diverted from infrastructure, school, mosque and residential construction to building tunnels under the border from which to terrorize Israeli civilians. Aid money is fungible and limited oversight has been applied when dealing with the Hamas “government.”

    Why are international donors be so dismissive of wanted to know that their money was being used for the purposes they intended? There’s no good answer to this question.

  3. Paul Woodward

    IDF spokespeople happily repeat this claim that the tunnels cost “hundreds of millions of dollars” to construct, knowing that they have legions of useful idiots who will propagate this baseless assertion.

    With 30 tunnels, each two miles long, according to the Israelis these must have cost more than $2,000 per yard to construct. In reality, it was probably less than $100 a yard and the total amount of materials might have been enough to construct one or two buildings.

    We’re talking about a project that cost no more than materials and labor. This wasn’t a major civil engineering project involving architects, planning review boards, environmental impact reports, union wages, insurance costs etc..

    The fact that the tunnels were technologically more sophisticated that the most Israelis would have expected, is not an indication that they were constructed at great expense. On the contrary, Israel’s surprise simply illustrates the contempt with which most Israelis view Palestinians.

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