Turkey to rebuild nine mosques in Gaza
Emine Kart - TEL AVIV/ANKARA
REUTERS photoThe Turkish government will begin rebuilding nine mosques that were devastated during a summer 2014 operation by Israel, according to Israeli officials.
The procedure for full confirmation of the projects that will be carried out by the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) was completed last week, Israeli officials told the Hürriyet Daily News.
The Diyanet will supervise rebuilding efforts under the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism (GRM), a temporary agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Israel that was intended to facilitate the import of essential construction materials into the territory following the cease-fire.
Accordingly, nine mosques will be rebuilt: Muslim Mosque, Safa Mosque, Hamza Mosque, Zuhair Mosque, Hassan al-Bana Mosque, Badr Mosque, al-Bukhari Mosque, Sultan Abdul Hamid Mosque and al-Tawheed Mosque.
Meanwhile, a project for the construction of the Khanyonis Slaughterhouse in Gaza by the Prime Ministry’s Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) has also recently been fully confirmed by the GRM.
A recent report published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development on assistance to the Palestinian people warns that the Gaza Strip could become “uninhabitable” by 2020 if current economic trends persist.
In addition to eight years of economic blockade, over the past six years, Gaza has endured three military operations that have shattered its ability to export and produce for the domestic market, ravaged its already debilitated infrastructure, and left no time for reconstruction and economic recovery, the report noted.
According to UNCTAD, the severe crises in Gaza related to water and electricity, as well as the destruction of vital infrastructure during the military operations in July and August 2014. For example, it finds that Gaza’s 1.8 million inhabitants rely on coastal aquifers as their main source of freshwater, yet 95 percent of this water is not safe to drink.
In addition to the 500,000 people who have been displaced in Gaza as a result of the most recent military operation, the report estimates significant economic losses, including the destruction or severe damage of more than 20,000 Palestinian homes, 148 schools and 15 hospitals.