Insight on Gaza’s Infrastructure

Gaza, May 21, (Pal Telegraph – By Sameh A. Habeeb)The media outlets give considerable coverage for the continued flaming situation in Palestine, Gaza in particular. The issue of the two balanced battling powers of Israel and “Hamas” are all over the place . All facts show that Israeli is the super power and in no way can it be compared with any Middle East country. Other key issues are being touched upon not boldly and indirectly.

Infrastructure in Gaza has been on the media for shortwhile -when Israel bombarded with millions of rockets using its entire military arsenal - the densely populated area where over 1.7 resides. This last Genocide or Holocaust perpetrated in Gaza 2008-2009 resulted in serious problems and has direct ramifications on Gaza. We have seen the direct ramification of the bombing on the infrastructure in Gaza.

Real Infrastructure never happened

With the Oslo Accord a bunch of infrastructure projects took Place. The money donated or borrowed by Palestinian Authority (PA) via USA, European Union, Japan and other Arab countries was used for building more new roads, sanitation and water network, bridges and electricity lines. Many other projects took place like building universities, colleges, schools and hospitals. Sadly, it is undeniable that some of the money has been stolen by corrupted Palestinians or has been shifted to other projects in other areas.

The total projects and money allotted for infrastructure and rehabilitation. was not enough for Gaza. According to the Gaza municipality, Gaza city requires 65% of the city to be rehabilitated if not more.

As for Rafah city, more than 70% of the city needs to be rebuilt or rehabilitated - including the refugee camps, which are not suitable for human habitation. Same applies to all refugee camps and the small cities of Gaza like Jabalia, Beit Lahia and the middle areas till Khanyonis, city central Gaza.

Israel’s Role - And Infrastructure

I’m not here preparing to accuse Israel of hindering the process of rebuilding Gaza, but it is clear that Israel is the key reason for the plight in Gaza,since after the last war and since Hamas came to power. Israel has been and should still be held responsible to the crises in Gaza as it is the occupying power.

Between the year 1994 to 2000, Israel made it very difficult for PA to build a number of projects in Gaza. With Intifada breaking out in 2000, Israel made it clear that it was the key and chief reason for Gaza’s plight. As the Intifada escalated Israel started to use its heavy military machines to target people and their infrastructure. Roads had been bombarded, schools were attacked and police stations that had kept the security was also targeted. Systematic targeting took place from that moment - till now. (The PA reached the stage -where it had lost real power over Gaza). In addition, Ministry premises and even resorts, off Gaza shore were destroyed.

As Hamas came to power the attacks intensified - more places were attacked. –including ,mosques, schools, police stations, ministry buildings, road networks, sanitation and drinking water utilities were bombarded too.

In June 2006 Israel launched massive attacks on Gaza’s infrastructure because it’s solider; Gilad Shalit was captured by Palestinian factions. The key bridge which links the southern and northern areas of Gaza had been totally decimated. The same day witnessed heavy F16 air raids which destroyed the sole key power plant. The Salah el Din, which is the sole key motorway in Gaza, was bombarded on the same day. This same road has been bulldozed by Israel many times - starting from the first invasion it has carried out in 2003 in north of Gaza.

Inspite of the seige in Gaza -Salah el din motorway was planned to be renovated by the Japanese government, but Israel never allowed this. According to UNRWA, projects of rebuilding houses for homeless Palestinians issue – is still suspended- since 4 years - estimated of $300 millions (permission has not ,still ,been given by Israel ).How is Israel helping?

Most of the projects designed to repair and rebuild infrastructure are being funded by EU and other countries. EU asked Israel a few times to avoid targeting civilians and their infrasctucre, Some of EU officials asked Israel for guarantees it will not attack what they fund. What does this imply?

"The infrastructure of water and sanitation is in a state of collapse," said John Ging, Director of Operations in Gaza for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), just last April. According to Ging UNRWA have not been allowed to build a school in Gaza for three years," said Ging.Who is responsible?

More than 21,000 homes were destroyed or badly damaged, and more than 50,000 people were displaced into temporary UN shelters due to the last onslaught lunched against the civilians of Gaza.Who should be held accountable?

The official Israeli stance regarding the above mentioned incidents –are repeatedly justified by Israel like this.Once they say “We are targeting terrorists and their infrastructure,” then they say, “We are working to secure our civilians,” then they say, “Palestinians use these places for weapons-manufacturing. But really and far from being bias, what’s being done is smart policy. Israel is working on destroying the life of civilians, on the pretext that the Gaza people brought the trouble on themselves (by electing Hamas- is just absurd). It is absurd because most of the people in Gaza are not pro Hamas .in addition, Hamas lost- a great majority of the popular support. Is this not reason enough to lift the siege?

Destroying aspects of life by having the siege and indulging in questionable deeds, will never help Israel in bringing peace -if it’s ever interested in this outcome. People should have the basics - some examples being- having a good infrastructure - freedom of movement -and having a right to good medical treatment. When these basic needs are met and if the siege is lifted -Israel will have her peace.

By Sameh A. Habeeb

Palestine Telegraph Newspaper

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About Sameh Habeeb

Gaza City, Gaza Strip, Palestine I am Sameh A. Habeeb. I'm a Palestinian born and raised in Gaza. I'm 23 years old. I have a bachelor degree in English Language and Literature. I have worked in several different fields’ pre and post of my university studies for almost 5 years. I have worked as volunteer in civil societies where I practiced tasks to help people and educate children. I worked as News Producer and a Journalist at the Ramattan News Agency which is Regional Media facility based in Gaza and the Middle East. After a year, I started to work in the relief sector with the International British NGO in my home country. I still work till now where I supervise around 350 orphans. I report their news, needs and life progress for them. In addition, I write features and photo stories about their life. In addition I contribute to implementation of projects and supervision. In December 2007, I started a brand-new stage of my life linked to peace activities, activism, tolerance and solidarity. I began to work as a peace activist with some Israeli friends to bring peace in the Middle East. This added much to my array of skills and furthered my leadership potential. I was even named as the "Barack Obama" of Palestine while I was speaking in a conference in Italy. I believe I have the quality’s associated with public speaking, research, photography and journalism to make positive changes and contributions in my career field. I am currently working as an Editor for ( . I have launched many Facebook groups and other sites and organizations about peace, solidarity and outcome evaluations. I have conducted many dialogues and conferences in many countries such as Italy, Spain, Greece, UK and so forth. As a Photojournalist and writer I have my own blog: _www.gazatoday.blogspot.com_ ( . I go on site to locations as a journalist, visit families, take photos, write about the social issue or event and then publish them. I do that for free and I my work is published worldwide. I visited the European Union and was invited for a speaking session. I was invited to speak about Gaza for France, Spain, Luxembourg, Greece, Ireland and UK. I was invited to Canada last August after I was selected to participate in Quebec 400 Anniversary to speak about my experience as a journalist. Sameh A. Habeeb Photojournalist & Peace Activist Gaza Strip, Palestine Mob: 00972599306096 Tel: 0097282802825 E-mail: [email protected] [email protected] Skype: Gazatoday, Facebook Sameh A. habeeb Web: Daily Photos:

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