Israel will ask international donors to fund a $1 billion plan for the occupied Gaza Strip, intended to alleviate the territory’s humanitarian crisis, reports Haaretz.
Israeli officials will put forward the proposal today at an emergency meeting of donor states in Brussels.
According to Haaretz, “the plan’s centrepiece will be Israeli assistance in building infrastructure projects, including desalination plants, electricity lines and a gas pipeline, as well as upgrading the Erez industrial park on the Israeli-Gazan border.”
The occupied Gaza Strip has been under a crippling Israeli blockade for more than a decade, restrictions denounced by international rights and aids groups as collective punishments.
Haaretz reports that “the emergency meeting in Brussels was called by Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide, who currently chairs the forum of donor states, and the European Union’s foreign policy czar, Federica Mogherini.”
Attendees will include Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and US envoy to the peace process Jason Greenblatt.
The Gaza Strip’s economy is practically non-existent after years of deliberate Israeli de-development and restrictions on what – and who – can enter and exit. The Gaza Strip has also been devastated in three large-scale Israeli offensives since 2008.
Unemployment is astronomical, exports are at a bare minimum, there are only a few hours of electricity a day, almost all the water is unfit to drink, and hospitals have a shortage of medicines.