Gaza: support petition for reconstruction

Gaza: support petition for reconstruction

35 aid organizations and 150,000 people launch public call to end the Gaza blockade

On the anniversary of the end of the conflict between the government of Israel and Palestinian armed groups, 35 aid, faith, development, and human rights organizations are calling for construction materials like wood, steel bars and cement to be allowed into Gaza so that hospitals, schools and homes can be urgently rebuilt.

More than 430,000 people from around the globe have joined the organizations in backing an unprecedented joint call urging world leaders to press the Israeli government to lift the blockade on Gaza and remove the restrictions on basic building materials needed to reconstruct the coastal strip.

Last year’s conflict saw over 19,000 homes destroyed, and left 100,000 people homeless. Donor governments have pledged $3.5 billion to rebuild Gaza, but a year on, Israeli restrictions on building materials continue to cause delays. Reconstruction has started on just over 2,000 of the 19,000 homes destroyed last year, and not a single home has been fully rebuilt.

Ibrahem El Shatali, a resident of Gaza City said, “Many of my friends and family members have been homeless for months now — how can we live like this, surrounded by rubble with no hope, no future and no prospect of things getting better? All we need are basic building materials and a fresh start.”

The full petition text supported by the organizations can be seen here and calls on the leaders of the US and EU, amongst others, to push for an end to the blockade and allow desperately needed building materials, including wood, aggregate, steel bar, and cement to enter Gaza.

Augusta Victoria Hospital responded to the Gaza war by sending in two teams of specialists in August of 2014, as well as reserving 16 beds in the hospital to receive casualties of the war. The teams brought with them much-needed medical supplies and medicines.