The Stream

Will Gaza ever be fully rebuilt?

On Wednesday, September 8 at 19:30 GMT:
It has been four months since Israeli bombing raids on Gaza once again decimated the besieged Palestinian enclave, devastated by four wars since 2008.

Local authorities say that Israeli bombs dropped on Gaza in May left 2,400 housing units uninhabitable, and also destroyed or damaged over 2,000 industrial, trade and service facilities. A recent report from the World Bank found that rebuilding Gaza will cost half a billion dollars.

Despite that money having already been pledged by donors including Qatar, Egypt and the US, little construction work has been undertaken. As part of its blockade on Gaza, Israel restricts the entry of so-called “dual-use” items that it says could be used for military purposes. But the “dual-use” list includes communications equipment, generators, steel elements and construction products, drilling equipment and certain medical equipment.

A deal brokered by Qatar aims to get materials in faster but it is estimated that Gazans need over a million tonnes of cement annually to build and maintain key infrastructure.

Additionally, aid groups say the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism, a complex observation and tracking mechanism meant to ensure construction materials reach civilians and not armed groups, is hampering rebuilding efforts and increasing the costs of projects.

In this episode, we’ll look at the status of reconstruction in Gaza and ask what are the reverberating effects of bombing civilian areas.

In this episode of The Stream, we are joined by:
Omar Shakir, @omarsshakir
Israel and Palestine Director, Human Rights Watch

Mahmoud Shalabi, @MedicalAidPal
Senior Programme Manager, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) – Gaza

Wafa’ Abdel Rahman, @wafaabdelrahman
Director, Filastiniyat