Gaza homeless receive over 1000 homes via Qatar project
Palestinians attend the opening of the Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani (portrait) residential project, sponsored by Qatar. (AFP/Mahmud Hams)
Qatar on Saturday handed over 1,060 housing units to homeless families in the Gaza Strip in the first stage of Doha's housing project in the coastal enclave that has been badly hit in running conflicts with Israel.
During Israeli's 50-day large-scale military air and ground offensive waged on the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2014, tens of thousands of homes were either destroyed or partially damaged.
"Qatar will do all its best to help the populations in the Gaza Strip and to ease their suffering not only in housing, but in all other fields," Mohamed Ammadi, chairman of the Qatari Committee for Constructing Gaza, said during a ceremony to distribute the units.
Earlier, Qatar pledged US $407 million to back up Gaza's reconstruction.
A second stage of the project will comprise 1,200 new housing units, Ammadi added.
In October 2014, international and Arab donors met in Cairo for two days and pledged a total of 5.7 U.S. billion dollars to rebuild the Gaza Strip after the Israeli offensive.
Mufeed Hassayna, minister of housing in the Palestinian unity government, told reporters that the Gaza Strip suffers from a severe housing crisis, and still there is a need for new 130,000 housing units.
He called on Israel to end a tight blockade imposed on the Strip since Hamas violently seized it in 2007.
Ismail Haneya, deputy chief of Hamas who also attended the ceremony, told reporters that Qatar has been always supporting the Palestinian people, mainly in Gaza politically and financially.
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