Israeli offensive cost Gaza billions: Palestinian official

Urgent need to solve the problem of 2,50,000 displaced Palestinians

Updated - November 16, 2021 05:42 pm IST

Published - August 19, 2014 07:59 am IST - Gaza

Palestinians walk next  to the rubble of homes in Beit Hanoun, in northern Gaza Strip. File Photo: AP

Palestinians walk next to the rubble of homes in Beit Hanoun, in northern Gaza Strip. File Photo: AP

Israel’s nearly two-month military campaign against the Gaza Strip has cost the coastal enclave an estimated six to eight billion dollars, a senior Palestinian official said on Monday.

After over 40 days of an Israeli war and blockade, “the territory is now a devastated area that needs unified efforts in order to reconstruct it”, Xinhua quoted Mufeed al-Hasayna, Minister of Housing and Public works in the Palestinian unity government, as saying at a workshop held in Gaza City.

“Within the last six years, Israel waged three wars on the Gaza Strip and kept its tight blockade imposed on it,” Mr. Hasayna said. ” This war is the toughest and longest and has caused negative consequences on the people and their living conditions.”

>Opinion: Pounding Gaza with impunity With Gaza reduced to Hamas, 1.8 million people who live in Gaza are made responsible for Hamas. This is the doctrine of collective responsibility, illegal by international law.

At the workshop, representatives of international organizations and donor countries discussed how to organise the process of reconstructing the strip, mainly resolving the problem of around 2,50,000 displaced Palestinians whose homes were destroyed during the war.

“Some 20,000 housing units were either completely destroyed or very badly damaged and are not fit for living in, while there are 40,000 housing units that need renovations,” Mr. Hasayna said, adding “there is an urgent need also to collect all the rubble from the destroyed houses.”

The Palestinian health ministry reported that 2,016 Palestinians were killed and over 10,000 wounded, mostly civilians, including children, women and elderly.

>Opinion: Tightening the noose around Gaza If terrorism is defined as acts of unlawful violence against civilian populations to intimidate them and pressure their governments, then the Israeli government’s actions come perilously close to matching that description.

Egypt is currently mediating ceasefire talks in Cairo. The Palestinians are demanding a complete lifting of Israel’s blockade, imposed on the Gaza Strip after the Islamic Hamas movement’s violent takeover of the territories in 2007.

Israel has demanded that its security needs be met, saying Hamas should be completely disarmed and the Gaza Strip demilitarised.

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