TEL AVIV (JTA) — The Palestinian housing minister laid a brick on the site of a home destroyed in last year’s war in Gaza, signaling the start of reconstruction efforts.
Some 2,200 Palestinians and 73 Israelis died in the war, which also destroyed 18,000 homes. None have been rebuilt yet, with money going only to repairing damaged homes.
Construction has moved slowly because pledged donations have been slow in arriving, according to Agence France-Press. UNRWA, the organization responsible for Palestinian refugees, said enough money has come in to build only 200 homes.
Palestinian Housing Minister Mufid al-Hasayneh laid the brick Wednesday on the lot of a home in Shejaiya, an area near Gaza City that saw particularly fierce fighting in last year’s war.
“The march towards real reconstruction of the Gaza Strip has begun, and nothing will stop it,” Hasayneh said. “We will see a lot of movement on the reconstruction front in the coming days. We will rebuild all homes destroyed by Israel.”