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
  • Get to the point
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Purchaser

£12000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: his is a unique opportunity to ...

Recruitment Genius: Accountant

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Summarises financial status by ...

Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Officer - Altrincham - up to £24,000.

£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...

Recruitment Genius: Salesforce Developer

£50000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to continued business growt...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss