04 Dec, 2020
JERUSALEM WEATHER

US Secretary of State John Kerry is headed to the Middle East once again to take part in a conference centered on the rebuilding of Gaza following the 50-day conflict between Israel and Hamas.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed that Kerry “will be attending the conference” which will be held in Cairo on October 12.

The Palestinian unity government between Fatah and Hamas revealed a 76-page reconstruction plan. The plan calls for $4 billion to rebuild the battered Hamas controlled territory. The largest amount of money would be allocated to build 100,000 housing units for those left homeless.

Over the course of the conflict, about 2,200 Gazans were killed while Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorists killed 73 Israelis. Israel contends that more than half of those killed in Gaza were terrorists.

According to the reconstruction plan, the money would go to “direct costs” of rebuilding Gaza. It would include $1.9 billion for private and public infrastructure and $1.2 billion for “reactivating economic productivity.”

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The plan prioritizes the removal of rubble and unexploded shells as well as repairing Gaza’s power station. The money would also be used to improve Gaza’s access to healthcare, education and water.

Last month, the US gave $71 million in additional emergency aid to Gaza, justifying the move by saying that “more than 580,000 people are still sheltering in United Nations facilities.”

“Basic necessities like food, clean water, and fuel remain in short supply throughout the territory,” the State Department said in a statement in September. Total US funding since the beginning of the recent conflict amounts to more than $118 million.

The report and request for extensive funding comes on the heels of reports by Fatah that Hamas has already stolen $700 million in funding meant to go towards the rebuilding of Gaza.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad have already stated that they have begun to rebuild the terror tunnels destroyed by the IDF, which were built using confiscated humanitarian materials allowed in Gaza by Israel.