Gaza: Not a single home has been rebuilt

July 07, 2015

Gaza: Not a single home has been rebuilt

One year ago, the Gaza strip was ravaged by an Israeli military operation (‘Protective Edge’) that lasted 50 days. This hugely disproportionate conflict saw the Gaza strip devastated, with entire neighbourhoods left in ruins. 

Over 1,400 Palestinian civilians were killed, and a third of them were children. Six Israeli civilians were also killed by Palestinian militant rocket fire.

Today, over 100,000 people still remain displaced in Gaza – living in temporary accommodation, with extended families or at UN schools.

Not a single destroyed home has been rebuilt in Gaza in the last 12 months.

Due to an economic blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt, less than 1% of the construction materials required to rebuild and repair houses destroyed and damaged during the 2014, and previous hostilities, have so far entered Gaza.

The UN has said “the extent of the devastation and human suffering in Gaza was unprecedented and will impact generations to come”.

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We have been here before. Operation Pillar of Defence in 2012, Operation Cast Lead in 2009, Operation Warm Winter in 2008 and so on. These cycles of military operations in Gaza happen with alarming regularity. Without accountability for grave breaches of international law, a climate of impunity exists. We see history repeating itself with the repeated devastation of Gaza and an incredible loss of civilian life. 

If action is not taken to challenge impunity, another round of conflict in Gaza in the coming years is all but guaranteed. We need meaningful pressure to be put on Israel and the Palestinian Authority by the international community. 

Trócaire has been responding on the ground in Gaza over the last year, providing humanitarian assistance to vulnerable communities including providing medical supplies, food and blankets and providing counselling to traumatised victims.

We are also working with human rights organisations to provide legal aid to affected families in their search for justice, and are working with both Israelis and Palestinians to build a long term peace based on international law. 

This week Trócaire tied ribbons to the railings of Merrion Square, Dublin, and St Mary's, Chapel Lane, Belfast, for each of the children killed in the war (see images below).


For more background information on the conflict, please visit our partner’s websites:

Learn more about Trócaire's work in Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and Israel.


Comments for this post:

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Other reasons why so little of Gaza rebuilt.

Why doesn't Trocaire ever ask itself what is done with the material that does arrive?

It is difficult to look at the rebuilding that does go on in Gaza (0% is simply false) because Israel does allow significant quantities of material to enter without coming to the conclusion that Hamas deliberately keeps some parts untouched to serve as a photo opportunity.

The blockade of Gaza which still allows about 170,000 tons of cement monthly is only one of many documented reasons for the halt.

1) Hamas commandeers a significant part of construction material for itself and has been reported to have begun to reconstruct fortifications;
2) The Gaza black market distributes most of the remainder to the highest bidder;
3) Disputes between Hamas and the P.A. have meant that finance for purchasing materials doesn’t always arrive;
4) Only a fraction of money pledged by the ‘international community’ (notably the Arab world) has materialised;
5) Palestinian attacks on the transfer of material slows things down. Israel transferred the entrance point for trucks to Keren Shalom from the much larger and better equipped Karni crossing because of Palestinian attacks on Karni – which left several Israeli soldiers dead – several years ago.
6) The situation in Egypt, most notably the DAESH attacks in Sinai and the feeling that Hamas which describes itself as the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza leads to Egypt closing the doors.

In more detail:

Enough Victim blaming.

Enough of the blaming of the victims.
The entire world has seen how Israel treats little children on the beach.
Israel has elected government officials who are quoted as suggesting that 'that Palestinians and their snake children be exterminated, and the houses in which they are raised be burned to the ground'.
This is systematic genocide pure and simple.
The world sees and is disgusted.
Israel of all people should understand how it is to be oppressed.
Yet they prove better at extermination and more ruthless than Hitler was. For shame .

The horrific situation in Gaza.

Well here's a solution - let Israel stop attacking the people of Gaza. Then the houses won't need rebuilt! The treatment of these people is utterly shameful! And make no mistake, the whole world is watching and is unimpressed.