The conundrum of restoring Gaza while avoiding Hamas rearmament

Since the recent fatal battle with Israel, Hamas gunmen in camouflage clothes have performed parades around the Strip with long-range missiles, missile launchers, and drones.

They highlight the difficulty for international donors seeking to assist in the reconstruction of Gaza without reinforcing what the US, EU, Israel, and others regard as terrorist organizations.
Dominic Raab, the UK Foreign Secretary, told me on a recent visit to Jerusalem and the West Bank that it was “crucially vital” to ensure that funding got to “the Palestinian people, to ease their situation, and did not wander into the wallets of Hamas”.

Gaza is governed by an Islamist group that does not recognize Israel’s right to exist.

According to the United Nations, the fighting in Gaza has destroyed or damaged over 16,000 houses, as well as 58 schools and training centers, nine hospitals, 19 clinics, and other infrastructure.

According to Israel’s military, it has attacked over 1,000 militant targets.

Thousands of people have been displaced in Gaza City, including the Khalidi family. Their flat was caught in the blast when Israeli warplanes struck their neighbors’ buildings.

UN damage assessment of northern Gaza

“Glass was strewn over my son’s toys. When I witnessed the destruction, I sobbed uncontrollably “Waad al-Khalidi, who is now residing with her husband and infant at a relative’s home, adds. “The conflict is over, but we don’t have the funds to restore the damage. All I want is for our lovely house to be returned to us.” According to the United Nations, at least 256 people were murdered in Gaza and 13 people were killed in Israel during the conflict. At least 128 people were killed in Gaza, according to the UN. According to Israel’s military, 200 terrorists were killed. Whereas Hamas’s head in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, said that 80 fighters were killed.

Israel and Egypt have established land and maritime embargo on Gaza, which is expected to make rehabilitation sluggish and difficult. This was implemented after Hamas regained complete control of the small area from the Palestinian Authority (PA). It has damaged the economy, but it has only partially achieved its professed security goal.

The Israeli military claims that around 4,300 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israeli during the 11-day fight in May. They were shot with more intensity and range than during the previous major outbreak of hostilities in 2014. “They’ve restocked themselves and added a few longer-range missiles to their arsenal with a greater payload,” says Michael Herzog.

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