Israel-Gaza crisis: YouTube footage shows scale of destruction after 50 days of shelling

It will take 20 years and $6 billion to rebuild Gaza after conflict with Israel, says NGO

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The Independent Online

The extent of the devastation in Gaza caused by the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas has been laid bare by new footage, just days after an international group says it could take decades for the area to be rebuilt.

A video from Palestinian production company Media Town provides an aerial look at the Gaza town of Al-Shejaiya, with vast swathes of the city destroyed by shelling over the previous seven weeks.

At least 17,000 homes were destroyed or severely damaged during the conflict, with many thousands more needing substantial repairs, according to Shelter Cluster, an NGO chaired by the Norwegian Refugee Council with partners of the UN and the Red Cross.

The report states that there was already a shortage of 75,000 before the conflict flared up, further adding to the region’s housing stock woes. Shelter Cluster says it will take significant investment and many years to repair the strip’s severely damaged infrastructure.

The effort to rebuild Gaza will be affected by the blockade imposed by Egypt and Israel since Hamas rose to power in 2007.

Fearing that militants will use them to build rockets and reinforce cross-border attack tunnels, Israel has severely restricted the import of concrete and other building materials into the territory, fearing that militants will use them to build rockets and reinforce cross-border attack tunnels.

Egypt and Norway have suggested convening a Gaza donors' conference next month, but no agreement has been reached.

With a population of 1.8 million, Gaza is a densely populated coastal strip of urban warrens and agricultural land that still bears the scars of previous rounds of fighting.

Israel and Hamas agreed on Tuesday to an open-ended truce following a war that took the lives of over 2,100 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 71 Israelis. The ceasefire brought an immediate end to the fighting but left key issues unresolved.