UN Brokers Deal to Rebuild Gaza

UN Brokers Deal  to Rebuild Gaza UN Brokers Deal  to Rebuild Gaza

The UN Middle East envoy said on Tuesday that Israel and the Palestinians had reached a deal over the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, following Israel’s recent seven-week offensive known as Protective Edge.

“The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East has brokered a trilateral agreement between Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations to enable work on the scale required in the Gaza Strip,” Xinhua quoted UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry as saying on Tuesday.

Serry briefed the Security Council over the developments in the region following the Aug. 26 cease-fire that put an end to fifty days of fighting. He said the Palestinian Authority would lead the rehabilitation efforts in the strip.

“A lead role (would be given) to the Palestinian Authority in the reconstruction effort, while providing security assurances through UN monitoring that these materials will not be diverted from their entirely civilian purposes,” Serry said.

He described the state of devastation in the strip as “shocking, “ specifically addressing the damage caused to infrastructure, hospitals and schools amid Israeli air strikes and shelling. More than 2,100 Palestinians were killed in the fighting, mostly civilians..

The Palestinian Authority estimated that the cost for rehabilitating the strip would amount to 7.8 billion US dollars, two and half times more than the gross domestic product in the strip, the Ha’aretz daily reported.

Regarding the Egypt-brokered cease-fire agreement that ended the fighting on Aug. 26, Serry said the calm is sustained but is “worryingly fragile,” adding that some underlying topics still need to be addressed by both parties. “Gaza could implode, or explode again,” he warned.