Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Palestine says reconstruction of Jenin, destroyed in Israeli raid, requires $15bln

Reconstruction of buildings and roads destroyed during the Israeli aggression against Jenin in the occupied West Bank requires over $15 billion, Palestine's minister of public works and housing has announced.

Mohamed Ziara noted a total of $15.5 million is needed to reconstruct buildings and roads in Jenin after the Israeli forces carried out a two-day aggression on the occupied West Bank city. He added that the damages listed by his ministry include buildings, roads and basic infrastructure like water and sanitation networks.

Ziara highlighted that the reconstruction process includes the complete removal of debris from four buildings at a cost of $1.5 million, partial damage to 25 buildings at a cost of $2 million, partial damage to 250 housing units at a cost of $2.5 million, and damage to 150 commercial and service buildings at a cost of $5 million, in addition to severe damage to a mosque at a cost of $1 million.

The Palestinian minister went on to say that Israeli forces bulldozed five kilometers of roads inside the Jenin refugee camp and $1.5 million is needed in order to repair them. Moreover, adjacent buildings which were partially damaged need to be fixed.

Ziara stated that teams from the Palestinian Ministry of Public Works and Housing have immediately initiated a rescue plan to deal with the aftermath of the Israeli aggression by opening roads and securing collapsing buildings in order not to endanger citizens, and will continue until all these tasks are completed.

He pointed out that unexploded ordnance could be found across the camp, emphasizing that the ministry’s staff and civil defense teams are working to remove them safely.

Philippe Lazzarini, Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), has also appealed for support to help rebuild Jenin refugee camp devastated by two days of Israeli military assault earlier this week.

“The Israeli military operation of July 4-5 in Jenin was the most intense in over two decades. For many of the camp’s residents, it brought back horrific memories from 2002 when the camp witnessed one of the most severe rounds of violence during the Second Intifada (uprising). Families told my UNRWA colleagues that the situation made them feel helpless and frightened for their and their children’s lives,” said in a statement on Thursday.

He added that the camp sustained significant damage – the streets are full of rubble; electricity and water are cut in most parts of the camp and many houses have been destroyed.

“Today, we had to set up a temporary health center because a major part of the UNRWA health center was destroyed during the operation. The Jenin municipality, local authorities and the Palestinian Authority have started a massive clean-up operation to remove the rubble and clear the roads. However, I am extremely concerned that possible unexploded ordinances remain which place the lives of residents and humanitarian aid groups at risk,” Lazzarini stated.

“Right now, our priority is to restore basic services in the camp and to support those whose homes were damaged with emergency cash assistance. It is essential that we repair our own buildings and re-open four UNRWA schools which provide education for 1,700 children and a health center where residents get primary care. To make sure this happens, UNRWA is rapidly deploying more teams and assistance to support residents and the local authorities,” he pointed out.

The UNRWA commissioner-general stressed that his agency needs the support of its partners and donors to help rebuild and rehabilitate its structures and the homes of Palestinian refugees.

Israel launched the military campaign against Jenin in the early hours of Monday morning, mobilizing upwards of 1,000 troops as means of supposedly damaging the resistance “infrastructure” in the city and the refugee camp that it hosts.

At least 12 Palestinians and one Israeli trooper died as a result of the conflict, during which a steadfast Palestinian resistance response prompted the regime to pull out its forces after less than two days.

Israeli troops finally pulled back from Jenin following a 44-hour-long incursion.

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