Israel-Gaza Crisis: Reconstruction of flattened Gaza will cost £5billion, Palestinian officials say

Large-scale reconstruction needed for services and infrastructure, amid concern that Israel is only allowing Israeli-made materials across the border

It will cost $7.8billion (£4.8billion) to rebuild the devastated Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has said.

The almost two month-long conflict – which ended with a ceasefire that has so far been maintained since 26 August – saw Israeli bombing destroy sprawling neighbourhoods, 20,000 homes and the Strip’s sole power plant.

According to Reuters, the PA said that reconstructing people’s flattened houses will cost $2.5billion (£1.5billion), while $250million (£153million) will be needed to replace energy infrastructure.

“The attack on Gaza this time had no precedent, Gaza has been hit with a catastrophe and it needs immediate help because many things can't wait long,” Mohammed Shtayyeh, an official with West Bank's Fatah party, said.

Mr Shtayyeh, who is also an economist, said Gaza would be relying on international aid for the reconstruction project, in addition the eradication of Palestinian rivalry and the opening of Israel-Palestine border crossings.

 

The reconstruction assessment by the PA had also allocated $670million (£410million) to Gazan air and sea ports, which are currently denied by Israel, as well as $143million (£87million) to help schools get back up and running.

Gaza’s gross domestic product (GDP) stood at $2.438billion in 2011, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the same as the African nation of Lesotho.

This amount includes the economic value in its agriculture, construction and education industries as well as the net VAT on all imports, and is an amount far lower than that of the other occupied Palestinian territory - the West Bank, whose GDP was $7.336billion in 2011.

On its own, it would take Gaza a number of years to accumulate the money it needs to pay for reconstruction.

For comparison, the UK’s GDP in the same year was $2.462trillion, according to the World Bank.

READ MORE: Israel-Gaza conflict: 50-day war by numbers
Voices: Israel’s ‘land for lives’ is theft. Pure and simple
Israeli cabinet split on peace negotiations
Voices: The truth about the UK's pro-Israel lobbies

According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), 2,101 Palestinian people lost their lives in the 50-day conflict, most of whom were civilians, with thousands more injured and as many as half a million displaced.

Sixty-four Israeli soldiers are understood to have died in addition to six civilians.

Minor repairs to shelters and the homes of refugees, using materials available on the local market such as with windows and doors, will be conducted by UNRWA as soon as its assessment of the damage is completed.

A Palestinian has his hair cut at a Gaza barber shop during power cuts on 31 August 2014 A Palestinian has his hair cut at a Gaza barber shop during power cuts on 31 August 2014 UNRWA added: “For the uninhabitable homes, it remains unclear how shelter construction is to start under the current access regime imposed by the Government of Israel, which does not allow construction material on the local market.”

Another recent UN report has revealed the crushing impact Israel’s last few assaults have had on the Palestinian economy, pushing it to near collapse.

The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said the seven-year blockade and ground incursions have resulted in the deterioration of Gaza’s economy to the point of forced dependency on Israel, as well as “mass employment, wider and deeper poverty, and greater food insecurity”.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Head Porter / Concierge

£16000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning Property Man...

Recruitment Genius: Credit Controller

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment C...

Recruitment Genius: Interactive / Mobile Developer

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks