Voice of the Cape

From the news desk

Gaza will take years to rebuild

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While the recent conflict between Israel and Palestinian resistance fighters in Gaza has taken a back seat in the media in the wake of the ceasefire, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) in Gaza says thousands of Palestinians must now repair their lives. Jabr Weshah of the PCHR in Gaza says although the infrastructure destroyed by Israeli attacks on the besieged Strip will take years to rebuild, it is ordinary Palestinians who suffered the brunt of the fighting.

“The suffering among the people, whole families and the children [of Gaza] remains. This should be dealt with, with high levels of sensitivity. Some sort of remedy should be given to those who lost loved ones, some children became orphaned throughout the conflict,” Weshah said on Thursday.

On Thursday, the Palestinian Authority said the cost of rebuilding 17,000 Gazan homes razed by Israeli bombings would be $2.5 billion.

Weshah says thousands of Gazans are now homeless and reliant on United Nations aid buildings for shelter. Weshah believes many of these people whose homes were destroyed will slip through the cracks if attention is not given to their plight.

“The widespread destruction that took place in Gaza left about fifty thousand people without a home; they were taking shelter at UN schools and UN centres.”

Gaza’s frail energy sector needs $250 million after its only power plant was destroyed by two Israeli missiles. The strip’s industrial sector also took a significant hit during the attack on Gaza.

“The damage to the industrial sector is also large: workshops, factories and workplaces; everything was affected by this brutal onslaught by Israeli forces,” Weshah said.

Weshah says his main worry is the need the UN has for its facilities being used as shelters. He says UN aid needs to continue but weather conditions may worsen before displaced Palestinians are able to find alternative housing.

“We are at the dawn of the coming winter, within the next few months this should be dealt with properly. And it should be done effectively and quickly because now these people need to evacuate their shelters because the UN has need of them.” VOC


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