During the 22 day Israel military offensive ending in January 2009 approximately 60,000 homes and other vital infrastructure of Palestinian people were destroyed.
Now two years later as the struggle in Gaza continues, one of the largest housing construction projects has been approved by Israel of 1,200 homes and 18 new schools in the Gaza.
Since the military offensive, there has been reports of various approved construction projects but with the limitations put on material imports through the Gaza strip by Israel has hindered the opportunity for vital construction projects to commence.
Following the control of Gaza by the Hamas in 2007, construction materials have been banned by Israel for fear that the Hamas will use these imports to create explosives and weapons, or anything else which could be deemed to ‘help’ the militants.
Now changes to these limitations have been put in place, however only internationally recognised construction companies will be able to import materials.
The newly imported materials will be reportedly assigned to the United Nations Relief and Welfare Agency. The fundamental operation of this organisations work is to improve the living situations of Palestinians who have been dispossessed through the reoccurring conflict between Israel and Palestine. This arm of the UN was set up as a reponse to the fighting in 1948 which forced 800,000 Palestinians to flee from Israel.
It is believed that the projects will be funded by Saudi Arabia and Japan, the need to which in the badly needed area will ease the lives of many families who have been left displaced stemming from the fighting and on-going control of the area.
Reports from the Human Rights Watch have highlighted the displacement of further people from their homes on the 14th June in the area of Fasayil al-Wusta and on the 21st June through the imposition of demolition processes. The demolition of these homes were grounded in the basis by military authorities that many structures did not have building permits, however the approval of permits for Palestinian people are close to impossible to attain.
In Israel, the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly been urging his party to support the Housing Commissions Bill. The new law would enable a reform in the bureacracy of instigating construction planning and projects, it would also give precedent to government housing projects. Israel currently lacks between 80,000 to 100,000 housing units; it is thought that the bill will support the construction of up to 50,000 units a year.