Israel gives approval for construction projects in Gaza, says Qatari official

Despite pledging over $1 billion dollars in aid, only ten percent has reached the coastal enclave from Qatar.

May 30, 2015 18:23
1 minute read.
west bank settlement

Palestinian laborers work on a construction site in a religious Jewish settlement in the West Bank. [File]. (photo credit: REUTERS)

With the help of continued aid from Qatar, one of Gaza's wealthiest and staunchest supporters, reconstruction efforts have seen new projects take shape everyday, the head of the Qatari Committee to Rebuild Gaza, Mohammad al-Amadi, said Saturday.

"The reconstruction process is progressing very well as construction material is being shipped to Gaza every day without any obstacles," said al-Amadi, adding that Israel has approved all the Qatari-funded projects in the Gaza Strip, according to Palestinian news agency Ma'an.

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Qatar has pledged over $1 billion dollars to help rebuild Gaza, after three wars in the past six years have left major infrastructure installations destroyed and many Gazans homeless.

Palestinian and United Nations officials said 130,000 houses had either been destroyed or damaged in the fighting.

"We want more countries to come and build Gaza," al-Amadi said back in March. "Gaza suffered from previous wars."

Yet, according to humanitarian news agency IRIN, only ten percent of the funds promised by Qatar has reached the coastal enclave.

Despite the limited amount of funds Gaza has seen since the end of last summer's war, reconstruction projects such as the rehabilitation of important trade routes and new housing are underway.

Israel tightly limits "dual use" materials such as concrete, cement, iron bars and other materials into Gaza, which could have a military purpose if they were seized by Hamas to rebuild tunnels used to launch attacks.

De facto governing body of the Gaza Strip, Hamas, relies financially on Qatar, and the country frequently hosts the organization's political leadership, Ma'an added.

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