by Stephen Lendman
It's a Herculean task. With no assurance Israel won't destroy it again at its discretion. For duplicitous reasons. Or none at all.
Billions of dollars are needed. Experts believe around $8 billion.
Perhaps more once the enormity of what's needed is fully understood. Longtime Israeli collaborator/illegitimate Palestinian president Abbas seeks $4 billion.
It's woefully inadequate. No one's sure how much is needed until more detailed assessments are made.
In early September, the Palestinian Economic Council for Reconstruction and Development estimated $7.8 billion to rebuild.
It said doing so would take "five years if Israel removed its blockade over Gaza entirely." Other reconstruction experts estimate a decade or longer.
At least 20,000 homes are uninhabitable. Around 60,000 were damaged. Most extensively. Entire communities were leveled.
Schools, hospitals, mosques, commercial areas, factories, power facilities and vital infrastructure were heavily damaged or destroyed.
Labor Minister Mamoun Abu Shahla said "(i)n 15 to 20 years, construction will be done if 100 trucks (with construction materials) enter Kerem Shalom (crossing) daily."
"This is unacceptable and irrational. We demand that Ban Ki-moon and international organizations play their role in rebuilding Gaza in" the shortest period of time possible.
Practically nothing has been done so far. Gaza remains in ruins. Israel's blockade continues. Despite promises made to ease it. Humanitarian crisis conditions persist.
Israel bears full responsibility for enormous loss of life.
Extreme human suffering. Extensive damage and destruction. It begs the question.
Why aren't world leaders demanding it pay all costs for carnage it caused? Why were donor nations sought?
Why when they had nothing to do with Israel's war of aggression? Its third one since December/January 2008-09.
Why aren't culpable Israeli military and political officials held accountable for high crimes against peace?
Why aren't they in the dock being prosecuted? At the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Israel as a nation state at the International Court of Justice(ICJ). For its longstanding genocidal crimes. From 1947-48 to the present.
Why is justice denied? Why aren't measures with teeth in place to prevent more Israeli aggression ahead? It's certain if not prevented in advance.
What's past is prologue. Israeli aggression repeats with disturbing regularity. At its discretion. For any reasons or none at all.
Blaming its crimes on Palestinian victims. Getting away with mass murder and destruction. With Western and regional support.
On Saturday, Egypt's Foreign Ministry announced Donor Conference information on rebuilding Gaza.
It was ongoing Sunday in Cairo. Co-hosted by Egypt, Palestine and Norway. Israel was notably absent.
It aimed "to raise funds needed to rebuild the war-battered Gaza Strip," Egypt's Foreign Ministry said.
Its junta leader General/illegitimate president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi opened proceedings saying:
Reconstruction depends on "permanent (Israeli/Hamas) calm." It requires "full (PA) authority" led by longtime Israeli collaborator/illegitimate Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.
El-Sissi "call(ed) on the Israeli people and the government (to) end conflict…so that prosperity prevails." None ever exists in Gaza. For sure not now. Nor any time soon.
El-Sissi urged working for "peace and security." How can there be with Gaza squeezed repressively between Egypt and Israel.
"We should turn this moment into a real starting point to achieve a peace that secures stability and flourishing and renders the dream of coexistence a reality, and this is the vision of the Arab peace initiative," el-Sissi added.
He deplores what he claims to stand for. His Foreign Ministry stressed connecting political and economic support pledged to consolidating ceasefire conditions. To rebuild Gaza as soon as possible.
It called for implementing Security Council Resolution 1,860 (January 8, 2009). It mandates "full withdrawal of Israeli forces," as well as "unimpeded humanitarian assistance" for Gazan victims.
Israel violated it straightaway. It spurns UN resolutions at its discretion. It does so unaccountably.
It breaches core international humanitarian and human rights laws with impunity. Business as usual continues. Expect nothing different this time.
Throughout weeks of conflict, Abbas remained largely silent. He did practically nothing to help.
He works collaboratively with Israel. Against his own people. He doesn't give a damn about their suffering. Claiming otherwise doesn't wash.
His donor conference comments were pathetic. Disingenuous. Duplicitous. Big Lies, saying:
Gazans "are in our hearts. We will work relentlessly to undo the injustice that befell you and end the suffering that you've been experiencing for years."
"We will heal your wounds that are deeply entrenched in our souls. We will rebuild the Gaza Strip, relying on God first, then on the determination of our people."
We will also rely on resources and capacities available to us and on the assistance and support of our brothers and friends from around the world, who we trust will not disappoint you in supporting our economy and improving its lot and who will also support you in reclaiming a dignified life in your homeland and in lifting you out of this disastrous situation caused by this unjust war."
"Your plight has touched and shaken the world's conscience." For sure not his.
Or other rogue Fatah officials. In league with Israel for benefits they derive. At the expense of their own people.
When push comes to shove, expect world leaders turning a blind eye. Expect them condoning Israeli lawlessness. Expect nothing done to curb it.
Or hold culpable military and political officials accountable. Or assure justice for long-suffering Palestinians. Delaying it denies it entirely.
Around 50 countries showed up in Cairo. Ban Ki-moon and John Kerry came. So did 30 other foreign ministers, as well as various international monetary and humanitarian organizations.
World Bank and IMF dirty hands are involved. Their funding comes with strings. Intolerable ones.
What no responsible officials from recipient nations should accept. Mandates doing more harm than good.
It remains to be seen what follows. Hold the cheers. Pledges are worthless without follow-through. Or if funds don't help Gazans directly.
Often they're for business interests. For economic exploitation and profit. Instead of where they're badly needed. In amounts enough to make a difference. Delivered as soon as possible.
It remains to be seen what happens this time. If past is prologue, expect Gazan suffering to continue.
Expect them left largely on their own. Expect aid where it's most needed to be diverted elsewhere. Expect longstanding business as usual.
According to Hamas' senior political leader Ismael Haniyah, Gaza got no reconstruction aid after Israel's two previous wars. Despite pledges made to contribute.
He urged "money this time…flood(ing) (in) to start (restoring) what (Israel) destroyed."
"We are not beggars, but our people presented sacrifices and it is the international community's responsibility to build up what the occupation destroyed during its inhuman war on Gaza," he stressed.
On Sunday, Maan News
headlined "Millions in aid pledges promised for Gaza rebuilding." A later in the day follow-up account
said $5.4 billion.
It bears repeating. Hold the cheers. Donations may not match pledges. Tinderbox conditions remain.
Qatar pledged $1 billion. Kuwait, UAE and Turkey $200 million each. Germany $63 million. France $50 million. Britain $32 million.
Euroland overall $567 million. Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende said $5.4 billion was promised. How much turns into hard cash for what purposes remains to be seen.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier spoke with tongue in cheek saying "(w)e can't allow people in Gaza to sink into despair."
Washington pledged a pathetic $212 million. More on this below. Pentagon waste, fraud, abuse and grand theft spills multiples this amount regularly.
Kerry should have been embarrassed to show up. Israel gets virtually unlimited amounts. Washington funds its killing machine.
Both countries partner in crime. It's longstanding joint policy. One fascist regime supports another.
Horrendous genocidal high crimes persist. Peace is pure fantasy. It's a convenient illusion. Both countries wage wars of aggression.
Against nations posing them no threats. Shocking abuses repeat. Millions of corpses attest to outrageous brutality without end.
Kerry disgraces the office he holds. On Sunday, he addressed the donor's conference. He shamelessly blamed Hamas for Israeli crimes.
He lied saying it "fire(s) rockets on Israeli civilians at any time…
Gazans "need our help desperately," he said.
Washington partners in all Israeli wars. Kerry didn't explain. Or that America funds its killing machine generously.
"I am proud, personally, that the people of the United States have been working to do their part," Kerry said.
"We provided $118 million in immediate humanitarian assistance at the time of the crisis, at its height, and the $84 million that we also provided to UNRWA for operations."
"Today, I'm pleased to announce an additional immediate $212 million in assistance to the Palestinian people…"
It bears repeating. Pentagon waste, fraud, abuse and grand theft exceed multiples these amounts regularly.
Not for bettering peoples' lives. For destroying them mercilessly.
Ravaging one country after another. Stealing their resources.
Plundering them for profit. Exploiting their people. Dominating them for unchallenged control.
Doing it unapologetically. Never admitting fault. Mindless of rule of law principles. Trashing democratic values.
Shifting from one targeted country to another. Waging multiple direct and proxy wars.
It bears repeating. Supporting Israel's worst crimes. Funding its killing machine. Harming Palestinians horrifically. America's blood money is unwelcome.
Gaza remains in rubble. Shattered families won't ever regain normality. Washington shares responsibility with Israel.
Shamelessly claiming its wars of aggression are for security. Saying so belies reality. So does fabricating support for peace.
Washington and Israel deplore it. They go all-out to prevent it. Wars serve their agenda. For wealth, power and privilege. For unchallenged dominance.
Washington's commitment is meaningless. It's involved for its own benefit. It doesn't give a damn about Palestinian suffering.
Horrendous humanitarian needs. Ones certain to fall short of alleviating.
Peace when it's most needed. Don't expect Kerry to explain. Or other conference participants in league with Israel.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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