UN envoy says Gaza reconstruction speeding up

The United Nations’s Mideast envoy gives a rare upbeat assessment in the Gaza Strip, saying reconstruction from last year’s war between Israel and Hamas is speeding up.

Thousands of homes were destroyed or damaged in the 50 days of fighting. The reconstruction of hundreds of houses started last month with help from Qatar, which has donated millions of dollars to rebuild 1,000 housing units.

“I’m very happy to be able to report today that the reconstruction effort has visibly accelerated within the last two months,” says Nikolay Mladenov, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process.

United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nikolay Mladenov, talks during his a press conference in Gaza City, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nikolay Mladenov, talks during his a press conference in Gaza City, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

Construction materials are shipped into Gaza from Israel through a UN-supervised program that ensures the goods are not diverted to Hamas.

The program has approved applications from 3,400 families. Of them, 1,400 have already received cement, steel and gravel to start rebuilding.

— AP

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