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Official: Gaza suffered $479mn in losses during latest Israeli aggression

This photo shows Palestinians inspecting their destroyed houses after an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip in May 2021.

A senior official in the Gaza Strip says the total damage and loss from the latest Israeli aggression against the besieged enclave amounts to $479 million.

Naji Sarhan, undersecretary of the Ministry of Public Works and Housing in Gaza, made the remark in a press conference on Monday, adding that the government teams worked on recording damages according to policies approved by the World Bank.

He further explained that the total losses were distributed over three sectors; 61 percent of the damages were caused to the housing and infrastructure sector, 33 percent to the economic development sector and 7 percent to the social development sector.

Separately, Mohammed al-Emadi, chairman of the Qatari National Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza, stressed that all parties should participate in the development and reconstruction projects based on the existing needs of the impoverished coastal territory.

“The biggest challenge required from the international community is to stop the repeated Israeli attacks on Gaza and provide adequate funding to enable its people to live a decent life in peace,” the chairman added.

He further thanked the World Bank, the United Nations and the European Union for completing the initial rapid assessment report on the damages of the Israeli aggression against Gaza as well as its existing needs.

In the report, the committee published its vision for the reconstruction of Gaza which includes the full opening of the crossings, the entry of construction materials and the rejection of the reconstruction mechanism that was implemented after the Israeli attack in summer 2014.

Gaza has been under an Israeli land, air and sea blockade since June 2007. The crippling siege has caused a decline in the standard of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty in the Gaza Strip.

Since 2008, Israel has waged three wars against Gaza and thousands of Gazans have been killed in each of these deadly wars.

In the latest bombardment campaign, at least 260 Palestinians, including over 60 children, were killed in a time span of 11 days that began on May 10. The Gaza-based resistance movements retaliated.

The Israeli war on Gaza began after weeks of the regime’s violence against Palestinians at al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem al-Quds and the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of the occupied city, where Israeli forces tried to force Palestinians out of their homes to build new illegal settlements.

The regime was eventually forced to announce a ceasefire, brokered by Egypt, which came into force in the early hours of May 21.

In recent years, the enclave has been receiving its bare essentials through the Kerem Shalom crossing as well as two others, including one with Egypt, which is being strictly controlled by the government in Cairo.

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