Reconstruction of Thousands of Gaza Homes to Begin

Reconstruction of homes destroyed in Gaza due to Hamas's engagement with Israel will begin soon, Hamas official Mufid Hasayneh stated to AFP on Wednesday. 

"Some 90,000 partially-damaged homes have already been repaired in coordination with the United Nations," Hasayneh stated from Gaza City. 

"In the coming days, the operation of reconstructing those totally destroyed will begin," he said.

Some 18,000 homes were destroyed or severely damaged, according to UN figures, and reconstruction of the war-wracked coastal territory has been slow.

The international community as well as Hamas have blamed Israel for the slow reconstruction, complaining that Israel's tough export and import restrictions on the terror group have hindered efforts to rebuilt. 

Israel, however, has noted that more than 1.1 million tonnes of construction material have been allowed in since October 2014 through the Kerem Shalom goods crossing. 

"We (the Palestinians, the UN and Israel) have come to an agreement about the mechanism to allow construction materials to enter from the Israeli side," Hasayneh said.

The mechanism, he said, would stipulate that owners of destroyed houses be vetted in order to receive building materials.

Homeowners would register with local authorities to obtain a building permit, after which their details would be passed onto the housing ministry, headquartered in Ramallah – the seat of the Western-backed Palestinian Authority.

The ministry would then work with Israeli authorities to get the final go-ahead for Gazans to rebuild their houses.

While rebuilding of homes has been slow, rebuilding of terror tunnels and rocket arsenals has accelerated over the past several months. 

Last month the IDF finally promised to investigate Hamas reconstruction of attack tunnels, after months of reports showing how the terrorist organization has been siphoning from the massive influx of construction materials to rebuild the tunnels leading in to Israel.

Reportedly over 1,000 diggers as well as heavy machinery are being employed by Hamas to construct the tunnels; the Israeli security estimation is that the tunnels lead up to Israeli territory, and Hamas will extend them beyond when it feels the time is right to strike.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/197217

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