Gaza Faces Years of Reconstruction

Blockade, destroyed tunnels make rebuilding nearly impossible
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2009 8:34 AM CST
A Palestinian family eat breakfast next to their damaged house, following the Israeli army operation in Gaza, at the Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip today.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Now that the guns have fallen silent in Gaza, the Palestinian enclave faces what might be the most difficult reconstruction project in recent history, writes Patrick Cockburn in the Independent. Rebuilding in the densely populated zone will face two major obstacles: the economic blockade by Israel and Egypt, and the destruction of tunnels that supplied Gaza with bombs—but also food and fuel.

“Everything from Viagra to diesel entered Gaza through the tunnels,” said one expert; now, the only food and supplies come from the UN. As for the blockade, domestic Israeli politics mean that it cannot be lifted. “If the blockade is raised, then Hamas will say it won the war,” writes Cockburn—leaving Benjamin Netanyahu to lambaste the government and ensure his own election on Feb. 10.