Sunday, August 23, 2015

One Year After War, People of Gaza Still Sit Among the Ruins

Few of the thousands of homes destroyed in last summer's war between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, including in Beit Lahiya, have been rebuilt. Credit Tomas Munita for The New York Times
A year after the halt to hostilities between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip on Aug. 26, 2014, not a single one of the nearly 18,000 homes destroyed or severely damaged in Gaza is habitable.


GAZA CITY — The men of Shejaiya still come daily to sit vigil in the desolate ruins of their neighborhood, drinking tea and playing chess. But these days, there are also clusters of construction workers on Shejaiya’s dirt paths, finally pouring a few cement foundations and hammering together wood planks.

Fouad Harara, 56, arrives at his house on Montar Street before 6 a.m. to check the previous day’s work against his thick wad of engineering blueprints. He returns at midday with chicken and rice for the 10 men who have, over the past four weeks, completed the cinder-block ground floor where Mr. Harara plans to revive his electrical-services business and erected pylons for the second of seven sketched stories.

“Exactly the way it was,” Mr. Harara said of what would replace the home he built in 1993, one of hundreds flattened by Israeli attacks on Shejaiya, the Gaza City neighborhood that abuts the border fence, during the war last summer. “I was comfortable in this place,” he added. “We lost everything, but it’s still in my memory.”

(More here.)


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