Middle East Monitor / December 13, 2021
Egypt does not want to rebuild facilities and homes destroyed by the Israeli occupation in Gaza Strip, Palestinian officials said. They noted that Egypt is, however, carrying out several other vital projects in the besieged enclave.
In a press conference held on Sunday, Deputy Housing Minister in Gaza, Naji Sarhan, said that Egypt has started constructing three residential complexes that had been approved before the Israeli offensive on Gaza in May 2021.
Sarhan added that Egypt is also carrying out two other projects, including restoration of part of Al Rashid Street and is preparing to build two bridges.
The Deputy Housing Minister said that the priority at this time should be given for the homes, shops and other facilities destroyed by Israel during the 11-day offensive.
He said that Qatar has started the reconstruction of a number of homes, noting that it had allocated $50 million for reconstruction programs.
Construction, according to Sarhan, is progressing very slowly due to the Israel and Palestinian Authority’s obstacles to the transfer of money to Gaza.
Relatedly, the official acknowledged that the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), UN Development Program (UNDP) and other agencies had already started helping people to repair their homes which were partially destroyed during the Israeli offensive.
Meanwhile, he denied reports that grants had been allocated for the reconstruction of high-rise buildings destroyed by Israel.
Sarhan called upon donors to set a time limit to complete their planning and reconstruction of the sectors they want to rebuild.
Israel carried out a major offensive on Gaza between 11 and 21 May, killed more than 260 people, destroyed 1,650 homes and partially destroyed more than 60,000 housing units.
The Ministry of Housing estimated the losses to bound $420 million.