The U.N. has brokered a provisional deal with Israel and the Palestinian Authority to enable reconstruction work to begin in Gaza, U.N. Middle East envoy Robert Serry said Tuesday.
The U.N. says it will help to rebuild the private sector in the Gaza Strip and give the Palestinian Authority a leading role in reconstruction efforts.
Serry stressed the urgency of getting building materials into Gaza as well as reviving the economy.
“We consider this temporary mechanism, which must get up and running without delay, as an important step towards the objective of lifting all remaining closures,” he said, describing it as a “signal of hope to the people of Gaza.”
Serry gave assurances that the U.N. would monitor building materials so they did not end up into the hands of militants.
In July and August more than 2,100 Palestinians were killed in Gaza and thousands of homes were destroyed after a 50-day military campaign led by Israel. During that time, 66 Israeli soldiers and at least five civilians died.
Serry told the U.N. Security Council that a renewed conflict “would be a disaster” and that “we must fundamentally change the dynamics in Gaza.”
On Tuesday the World Bank released a report detailing the damage the conflict has inflicted on the Palestinian economy.
“The conflict and humanitarian tragedy in Gaza has made an already struggling Palestinian economy worse and put further stress on the fiscal situation of the Palestinian Authority,” said the report.
On Sept. 4, the Palestinian Authority estimated it would cost $7.8 billion to rebuild Gaza, Reuters reports.
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