The Palestinian Prime Minister in Gaza has laid a foundation stone to mark the first phase of the extensive reconstruction required in the Gaza Strip. Ismail Haniyeh was attending a special ceremony for the purpose in Tawam, north of Gaza City.
Mr. Haniyeh confirmed that the government has worked hard to raise the initial funds for the vast reconstruction project even though it has been under immense strain due to what he called “severe political blackmail”. He pointed out that despite such pressure the Hamas government elected in 2006 has been able to raise sufficient funds for the completion of the first phase, which will include 1,000 new housing units. The Prime Minister stressed that families will not have to move, but will have their new homes built on the site of the old properties.
The start of the project has given a much-needed boost to the collective spirit of the Palestinian residents of Gaza, who are excited at the prospect of having their homes rebuilt and a return to some degree of normality in their lives. The government hopes that the international community will take a positive interest in the redevelopment of the Gaza Strip which was left devastated after the Israeli invasion just over two years ago.
MEMO Photographer: Mohammed Asad