Locals in Gaza are dissatisfied by the slow pace of reconstruction, with many still living in makeshift shelters a year after the severe combat ended.
After his home was damaged during the Palestinian-Israeli war in May of last year, Ayman Dahman and his family have been living in a rented property for more than a year.

Dahman has no idea when his former apartment, on which he is still making payments, will be rebuilt.

The Gaza Strip has been involved in four battles, the most recent of which occurred in May 2021. The combat lasted 11 days that year, and approximately 1,700 dwelling units were entirely destroyed.

“I bought my apartment before the war and continue to pay the monthly installments from my salary.” “Now I live in an apartment I rented after the conflict with my wife, two daughters, and two boys; we don’t know when we will return to our home,” Dahman added.

Dahman and his family used to dwell in a five-story building in Gaza City’s north that housed ten families.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Refugees, which includes the Dahman family, paid rent allowance to 154 Palestinian families whose homes were completely devastated during the war.

According to Naji Sarhan, the Gaza Ministry of Public Works’ undersecretary, only about 20% of the damaged properties have been rebuilt since the war ended last year.

“What we’ve done and what we’re doing in the housing sector so far does not exceed 20% of entirely destroyed houses and 70% of partially damaged houses,” Sarhan said at a press conference in Gaza on Sunday.
“There are no commitments for the rehabilitation of the high-rise and multi-story residential buildings that the occupiers bombed and demolished during the aggression last May,” he continued.

Egypt and Qatar committed $1 billion last year to rehabilitate Gaza after the war.

“After the onslaught on Gaza last year, several friendly countries began offering to reconstruct the city, lead by Egypt with a $500 million donation and Qatar with a $500 million grant, in addition to other irregular grants of small sums supplied by countries and institutions,” Sarhan added.

Egypt has also started work on Gaza’s 1.8-kilometer-long Corniche Street, three residential communities with 117 buildings totaling more than 2,500 housing units, as well as a bridge in the Shujaiya neighborhood and an open tunnel in the Saraya neighborhood.

Meanwhile, Qatar has begun construction on 200 dwelling units, as well as the restoration of 11 partially damaged residential buildings. It’s also mending a number of damaged street intersections, with the promise of continuing the rehabilitation effort, according to Sarhan.

Tensions have risen over Israeli preparations for a flag march on May 29 in Jerusalem, raising fears of new rounds of bloodshed between Israel and Hamas. Last year, a similar action resulted in a rash of violence.
“We are following the threats to storm the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque on May 29 or arrange a flag march,” Ismail Haniyeh, chairman of Hamas’ political bureau, said during a conference in Gaza. “I warn the enemy against doing such crimes and such acts.”

Support for a new conflict is split among Palestinians in Gaza.
Some supporters of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) have expressed preparedness to confront Israel over flag marches. Others worry that any battle would exacerbate the Gaza Strip’s economic problems.

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