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Friday, 6 March 2009

USSA offers $0 for Gaza reconstruction

Twenty months after becoming Middle East envoy for the Quartet, Tony Blair visited Gaza for the first time on Sunday. His visit came a day before international donors gathered in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh for a conference on the Gaza reconstruction effort.

US help Gaza deconstruction
Although the Obama administration is pledging $900 million (Dh3.3 billion) of aid, none of the money will go to rebuilding Gaza, the Los Angeles Times reported.

In an interview with the BBC's Jeremy Bowen, Mr Blair was asked: "How can Gaza be reconstructed if Israel doesn't allow things like steel, glass, concrete - all the other things you need to rebuild a place?"
US help Gaza reconstruction
Mr Blair responded: "Well it can't be, so we're going to have to make sure that we get the blockade lifted and the crossings opened so that the material can come in. I'm mean, just literally a hundred yards or so, a couple of hundred yards from here is the sewage treatment plant which is absolutely necessary to put in proper shape, otherwise there will be people that will die as a result of not having it. And you need obviously the materials to come in. You need the steel, you need the cement, you need the other construction materials to come in in order to get it done.

"The one thing that is very clear about this situation is, it's tragic to hear the experiences of the people who have been through the trauma of the conflict here. You can see the devastation and the destruction, but unless we get a viable basis for opening up Gaza sustainably, we'll be back in this situation again."

The BBC asked: "Now that you've seen Gaza the way that it is, do you think that the damage that Israel has done here and the blood that it shed as well is proportionate to the danger that its people faced?" More