Palestinians inspect the rubble of destroyed houses in the Shejaia neighbourhood, which was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during an Israeli offensive, in Gaza City July 26, 2014. (Credit Image: © Ali Jadallah/APA Images/ZUMA Wire)

Palestinian PM: Donors must make good on their Pledges for Gaza construction

PNN/ Ramallah/

Today, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah presided over a Donors’ Meeting on Gaza Reconstruction in order to shed light on the progress made to date in the reconstruction efforts, and discuss the challenges facing the Palestinian Government due to Israeli obstacles and lack of sufficient funding.

“Almost two years have passed since the end of the Israeli War on Gaza, and a large number of Palestinian families still suffer the consequences, ” Prime Minister Hamdallah said.

He urged donor countries to “make good on their pledges”, which they made at the Cairo Conference in 2014.

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Mr. Nickolay Mladenov, appealed to the international community to close the financial gap.

“I hope that we’ll see more commitment to fulfill the pledges,” Mladenov said. He added that the  rebuilding of  homes is very important, but not enough, “the people in Gaza also have to rebuild their lives.”

According to the World Bank, only 1.4 billion US-Dollars or 40 percent of the pledges have been disbursed.

“We were able to repair more than 100,000 damaged houses and compensate many families,” the Prime Minister said. “However, progress is moving slowly.”

Of the 11,000 completely destroyed homes due to the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, only 5,800 have been rebuilt so far “The international community has to do more than just condemn Israel for it continuous aggression,” Prime Minister Hamdallah said. “They have to force Israel to end its siege on Gaza.”

Israel has put many obstacles to delay the reconstruction of Gaza, ranging from the banning of import of cement, to denying entry to experts assisting in the reconstruction efforts.