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Palestinian Authority Considers Reconstruction a Matter of Sovereignty

Palestinian Authority Considers Reconstruction a Matter of Sovereignty

Monday, 14 June, 2021 - 09:30
Gaza fishermen protest Israeli decision to reduce the fishing area (AFP)

The Palestinian Authority (PA) insists on handling the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, rejecting any attempts to undermine it, according to well-informed Palestinian sources.

The sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the PA is unsatisfied with how Gaza’s reconstruction is being handled, warning that there are steps that can be understood as encouraging the parties to move forward with the issue of separation.

A ministerial delegation, led by Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Abu Amr, flew to Cairo to discuss the reconstruction process.

The delegation includes Minister of Economy Khaled Ossaili, Minister of Public Works and Housing Mohammad Zyara, Minister of Agriculture Riyad Atari, Minister of Local Government Majdi al-Saleh, Undersecretary in the Civil Affairs Authority Ayman Qandil, and advisor in the Prime Minister’s Office, Isstifan Salameh.

The delegation is set to meet with a number of Egyptian officials dealing with Gaza’s reconstruction.

Disagreements emerged after Egypt adopted the request of the Palestinian factions to form a committee to oversee the process. However, the PA is dissatisfied with Cairo’s efforts to start the reconstruction of Gaza without coordinating with it.

The Authority says that it will undertake the reconstruction process, and has already assessed the damage to infrastructure, residential buildings, and towers.

It also began listing the damages in all sectors, especially health and electricity, as well as agricultural facilities and local government institutions.

During the latest ministerial meeting, Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh instructed the formation of a team of ministers, civil society, and the private sector, to follow up the reconstruction process.

He announced that all countries agreed that the reconstruction would take place through the government.

Minister of Finance Shoukry Bishara met a high-level delegation from the World Bank Group, headed by the Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa, Ferid Belhaj, to discuss ways to enhance bilateral cooperation.

They also discussed the Group’s report on the damage caused to all vital and economic sectors in the Strip as a result of the recent Israeli aggression, and the means of reconstruction and reviving the economy.

Belhaj asserted that the World Bank will work with its partners in the United Nations and the European Union to assess the damage and the required needs of the enclave.

The current disputes between the Authority, the factions, and regional countries complicate Cairo’s plan to end the division, establish a comprehensive ceasefire, and reconstruct the Gaza Strip, before launching a new political process.

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