Gaza rebuilding halted for lack of funds

Ben Sales

TEL AVIV (JTA) — The reconstruction of Gaza following last summer’s war has been halted because almost none of the pledged funding has been received.

UNRWA, the United Nations agency in charge of Palestinian refugees, made the announcement Tuesday about the $5.4 billion pledged by countries at a Gaza aid conference in October. During the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, some 100,000 Palestinian homes were destroyed.

“The agency has exhausted all funding to support repairs and rental subsidies,” UNRWA said in a statement, according to the French news agency AFP. The statement called the situation “distressing and unacceptable. It is unclear why this funding has not been forthcoming.”

Since the war, UNRWA said it has paid out $77 million to 66,000 Palestinians for the rebuilding of homes, an amount the agency said is “wholly insufficient.”