A year since Egypt started Gaza reconstruction: what has been achieved and what is next



Mon, 13 Jun 2022 - 11:35 GMT


Mon, 13 Jun 2022 - 11:35 GMT

CAIRO – 13 June 2022: Around a year ago, 11 days of Israeli aggression on the Gaza enclave left dozens of deaths, damaged and demolished countless houses, left tens of thousands of Palestinians homeless, and destroyed scores of businesses.

While Egypt brokered in May a deal between Israel and Palestinian factions to stop the assaults in Gaza, it also allocated $500 million for the reconstruction of the strip through specialized Egyptian companies, a step that has been welcomed by world leaders.

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has expressed hope for contributing even more for the reconstruction of the enclave.

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‘Unimaginable’ reconstruction efforts

In June, Egypt has raced against time and sent a convoy of engineers and building equipment to the strip to kick off the reconstruction process, Egyptian state TV reported at the time.

The first phase included removing 85,000 cubic meters of debris and rubbles of buildings that were destroyed during the Israeli-Gaza war, the Egyptian National Committee for the Reconstruction of the Gaza Strip said.

Late last year, the committee announced launching the second phase of reconstructing the destroyed places in the strip.

The second phase plan was announced in a conference held at al-Mashtal hotel in the strip, in the presence of representatives of the Palestinian government and factional delegations.

The second phase includes six projects, namely the development of Gaza Corniche, residential communities: Dar Misr 1 (al-Zahra city), Dar Misr 2 (Jabalia city), and Dar Misr 3 (Beit Lahia city). In addition to establishing two bridges.

Over the past year, the Egyptian reconstruction efforts in the enclave have been described as “unexpected and unimaginable”.


In February, Palestinian Engineer Naji Sarhan, Deputy Minister of Housing and Public Works in Gaza told Associated Press (AP) that Egypt’s ongoing efforts within the framework of Gaza reconstruction include establishing three towns that are expected to accomodate about 300,000 residents.

Sarhan said work is underway to also develop Gaza’s main coastal road, expecting projects implemented in cooperation between the Egyptian and Palestinian companies in the enclave to be finished in a year and a half.

Alaa Al-Arraj, head of the Palestinian contractors' union, also told AP that the projects in the strip will help provide Palestinians with about 16,000 job opportunities.

Sarhan said on Monday that the Egyptian housing projects in the enclave are expected to be completed next year.

The first phase of the infrastructure in the Gaza Corniche. The Gaza Corniche street is around 1,700 meter long and 40 meter wide. By the end of this summer, 70 percent of the project is set to be completed.


Estimated damage

In May 2021, the Israeli aggression caused financial casualties estimated at $450 million, demolishing nearly 1,650 housing units totally, and more than 60,000 housing units partially, said Undersecretary of the Ministry of Works in Gaza, Naji Sarhan, at the conference.

The direct damages in other sectors of infrastructure and economic, agricultural, educational and health facilities were estimated at about $150 million, he added.

The cost of the national plan for the reconstruction of Gaza, which was adopted at the 2014 Cairo Conference is about $3.9 billion, he said, adding that the donor states pledged at the Cairo Conference amounted to $5 billion dollars, but the amount received was nearly $900 million, representing 26% of the pledges.

“We would like to confirm that the directive of the [Egyptian] political leadership for the reconstruction of Gaza is to use Palestinian labor and contractors to start the reconstruction process,” the committee said at the conference.

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Consolidating ceasefire, resuming peace talks

The Egypt-brokered ceasefire has been endangered several times by the developments in the enclave and the tensions between Israeli forces and Palestinians especially in Eastern Jerusalem and in the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound.

Egypt sent General Intelligence Service Chief Abbas Kamel to the Palestinian and Israeli lands more than once over the past year to consolidate the ceasefire and make sure that the reconstruction efforts continue smoothly without interruption.

In September last year, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi received Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in his first visit to Egypt as part of the Egyptian efforts to revive the peace process between the Palestinians and Israelis.

During the meeting, Sisi highlighted Egypt’s support to the peace efforts in Palestine within the framework of the two-state solution as well as the relevant international resolutions.

The Egyptian president also highlighted during the meeting the vitality of the Egyptian efforts regarding the reconstruction of the ravaged Gaza enclave following the Israeli aggression in May last year.


In conclusion, Egypt is moving steadily to support peace efforts in the Palestinian lands based on many axes; first, consolidating its brokered ceasefire in Gaza, calling for reviving the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, urging calm in the Palestinian lands by calling for a halt for the Israeli provocative acts in East Jerusalem.

In many occasions, Egypt has affirmed that the Palestinian cause remains the Arab’s central issue and has reiterated the call for establishing an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and reaffirmed support for the Palestinian people’s legitimate rights.




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