President of the Qatari National Committee for the Reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, Ambassador Mohammed Al-Emadi said he entered the Gaza Strip for the first time in two years through Israel after the Egyptian authorities refused to grant him permission to cross through its territory.
Al-Emadi said the situation in Gaza is much harder than it was two years ago because of the accumulated problems caused by the Israeli blockade and aggression.
He pointed out that the Egyptian decision to prevent entry of building materials to reconstruct the enclave through the Rafah crossing not only delayed completing the projects but has increased their overall costs to three times more than their actual value after his country was forced to purchase them from Israel.
Al-Emadi revealed that although the Qatari-sponsored reconstruction projects stopped for six months because of the Israeli aggression and the closure of the Rafah crossing, progress is going well.
The Qatari ambassador expressed optimism over the speed of reconstruction; especially after the international community responded to calls to rebuild Gaza.
He pointed out that Qatar has been actively seeking to urge Arab and Western countries to expedite the start of reconstruction projects.
Qatar’s reconstruction projects in the enclave will be completed in two years, he explained, and they will change the face of Gaza and affect the Palestinians’ lives.
Al-Emadi stressed that his country does not interfere in the internal differences between Hamas and Fatah and its efforts are limited to providing humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people.
Remarking on the electricity problem, the senior official said his country believes the problem could be solved by operating the power plants using natural gas which could be extracted off the coast of Gaza.