Gaza: reconstruction should be excluded from political disputes, says NGO Network

Middle East Monitor  /  June 23, 2021

The Palestinian NGO Network in Gaza called on Tuesday for Hamas and the Palestinian Authority to exclude the reconstruction of the territory from their political disputes, Al Quds Al Arabi has reported.

“There needs to be a comprehensive discussion among all parties,” said the network, “in order to agree a practical mechanism that accelerates the reconstruction process.”

NGO Network made its position clear after news came through that the Ramallah-based PA has formed a committee to follow up funding and carry out the reconstruction without the knowledge of anyone in Gaza.

Immediately after the end of the Israeli offensive against Gaza last month, PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh toured a number of Arab countries seeking funds for the reconstruction of the territory. Donations have to be channelled through the PA, he insisted. Several consultative and executive teams have since been created to follow up the reconstruction process, mostly with officials from the West Bank.

According to the Deputy Minister of Housing in Gaza, Naji Sarhan, he was included in the teams without his knowledge. Sarhan condemned the PA’s move. “Carrying this out without the knowledge of officials in Gaza is evidence of the absence of real partnership which has been sought by the government in Gaza.”

He called for the formation of a new team made up of national and qualified people in order to make sure that reconstruction will go ahead in a way that serves the interests of the people who were most affected.

The Housing Ministry in Gaza announced earlier that 20,000 housing units were completely destroyed by the latest Israeli offensive, and a further 22,000 were partially damaged.