In East Beit Hanoun yesterday, still roughly 2 km from the eastern border with Israel, we are surveying the destruction of water wells and cisterns, along with their motors –noting that new motors or parts are not available in Gaza, and that the rubble those wells within 1km of the border to Israel cannot be cleared due to a very real fear of Israeli shooting.
Alongside one of the hundreds of wells destroyed in Gaza, we see the Basiouni family re-building their flattened home. They are more fortunate than those over 4,000 whose homes were destroyed by Israeli bombing, intentionally-set explosions, and bulldozing.
The house being re-built is smaller than the original. But the fortune comes with the lovely stones, blocks of cement and tiles scaveged from demolished homes. Otherwise, to rebuild would be to import poor-quality, over-expensive, tunnel-delivered cement from Egypt, to build a shanty-style home of scrap metal and blocks, or to revert to building with mud, as some have in Gaza.
Aside from the obvious needs like cement, metals, glass, and wood, tiles are a luxury beyond imagination.
With 95% of Gaza’s industry destroyed by the siege and the Israeli massacre of Gaza, tile factories are among the reported 600 factories leveled by Israeli attacks. Thus tiles have become a rarity in Gaza. There is no cement to manufacture new tiles, and those that existed are mostly dust.
“We recovered these tiles from nearby structures. It’s all our extended families land. These tiles are old, strong. They are thick and good quality.”
Bassiouni is smiling, because while most Palestinians continue to struggle to exist and continue under the harshest of conditions, he has the advantage of building supplies.
These relaties are so familiar to me now, seeing homeless Palestinians daily, seeing mocking shells of houses daily, that I am surprised when a sympathetic, educated and concerned friend outside of Palestine doesn’t realize rebuilding isn’t happening in Gaza.
“…it is shocking what you write,” he said. “I did not know that concrete had to be smuggled in via tunnels. I assumed that the west somehow was involved in assuring some level of rebuilding of what has been demolished.”
In another other region, yes this would be true.
But this is Gaza, and somehow Palestinians do not deserve the same justice and respect that another nation would.
5 thoughts on “you mean Gaza isn’t being rebuilt?”
Thanks for this fantastic blog that allows us to have a window in the Gazans day to day “life”.
Huge thanks for your courage and your work.
It is thanks to people like you that one day the Palestinians will have, for the first time in their life, the chance to lead a normal life, free of occupation, oppression, humiliation, torture, checkpoints, drones, army invasions……
Russell Tribunal on Palestine
Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! I just found your blog. I think that it is so important that people see what daily life is like for people in Gaza. It seems like the rest of the world gets it. Americans slowly, but it is getting there. I think that your posts will go a long ways to helping them along.
Your ability to see, to appreciate and to communicate this appreciation in the context of the trapped lives of the people of Gaza deserves far greater recognition than I am able to give it in my translations of your articles on http://carol.blog.tdg.ch in French. This blog is one in a million !
[…] remain toppled, fractured, desecrated, and hold no promise of being restored any time soon, along with the thousands of destroyed homes: cement, precious cement, is still banned from ravaged […]
[…] south and much of Lebanon. But unlike Gaza—where the over 4000 completely destroyed homes have still not been rebuilt thanks to a strangling siege which bans construction materials (among a great many other […]