Archive for the ‘rebuilding’ Category

U.N. Chief in Gaza, Rebuilding ‘Will Cost Billions’

January 20, 2009

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon entered the war-battered Gaza Strip on Tuesday to assess the damage following Israel’s three-week long bombardment.

Rebuilding the thousands of homes and buildings damaged or destroyed in the Gaza Strip during the three-week conflict will cost billions, the UN has said.

Ban met with Israeli Prime Minister Olmert earlier today.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Tuesday said that Hamas was fully responsible for the damage caused during Israel’s 22-day offensive in Gaza and must not be allowed to lead reconstruction efforts.

“Hamas bears full responsibility for the destruction in the Gaza Strip and the harm to innocents, therefore, Hamas must not be allowed to lead the reconstruction process in the Strip and receive any kind of legitimacy from this,” Olmert told visiting Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini.

CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/mea
st/01/20/gaza.war.israel/index.html

Haaretz:
http://www.haaretz.com/

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (R) meets U.N. Secretary-General ... 
Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (R) meets U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Jerusalem in this January 20, 2009 picture released by the Israeli Government Press Office (GPO). Confronted by stark scenes of destruction, Ban visited the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, and Israel was poised to withdraw its troops before the U.S. presidential inauguration later in the day. REUTERS/Avi Ohayon

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BBC:

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he is appalled by Israeli attacks on a UN compound in Gaza after seeing the destruction for himself.

Mr Ban said that those responsible should be held accountable and demanded a “full investigation” through proper judiciary systems.

He was speaking in front of the smouldering remains of the UN food warehouse destroyed by Israeli shells.

He said he would do all he could to help the population of Gaza.

Appearing stern and at times angry, Mr Ban called the attacks “outrageous” and demanded guarantees that it would never happen again.

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_e
ast/7839863.stm

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Telegraph (UK)
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Residents of the Gaza Strip have taken their first close look at the large-scale destruction across their crowded territory.

First estimates by independent surveyors said Gaza lost nearly $2 billion in assets during Israel’s three-week war on Hamas, including 4,100 homes, about 1,500 factories and workshops, 20 mosques, 31 security compounds and 10 water or sewage lines.

Most Palestinians are furious at Israel over damage like that in Rafah, in Gaza’s south, but there are signs that Gazans feel such pain that they will rein in Hamas.  Photo: Eyad Baba/Associated Press

Tens of thousands of Palestinians have been left homeless and 400,000 people still have no running water, a UN report said.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will visit Gaza on Tuesday to inspect the damage.

A fragile ceasefire between Israel and Hamas militants is holding, allowing many Palestinians to return home to assess the damage.

Many Gazans seemed overwhelmed, saying they didn’t even know where to start with the cleanup.

The return of civilians comes as Hamas declared victory over Israel but the Islamic group vowed to replenish its arms stockpiles in the wake of the 22-day onslaught on Gaza.

Ismail Haniya, the deposed Palestinian prime minister and political leader in Gaza, said the “armed resistance” had triumphed by surviving the Israeli operation.

Report Spotlights Iraq Rebuilding Disaster

December 14, 2008

An unpublished 513-page federal history of the American-led reconstruction of Iraq depicts an effort crippled before the invasion by Pentagon planners who were hostile to the idea of rebuilding a foreign country, and then molded into a $100 billion failure by bureaucratic turf wars, spiraling violence and ignorance of the basic elements of Iraqi society and infrastructure.
The history, the first official account of its kind, is circulating in draft form here and in Washington among a tight circle of technical reviewers, policy experts and senior officials. It also concludes that when the reconstruction began to lag — particularly in the critical area of rebuilding the Iraqi police and army — the Pentagon simply put out inflated measures of progress to cover up the failures.

By By JAMES GLANZ and T. CHRISTIAN MILLER
The New York Times

In one passage, for example, former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell is quoted as saying that in the months after the 2003 invasion, the Defense Department “kept inventing numbers of Iraqi security forces — the number would jump 20,000 a week! ‘We now have 80,000, we now have 100,000, we now have 120,000.’ ”

Mr. Powell’s assertion that the Pentagon inflated the number of competent Iraqi security forces is backed up by Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, the former commander of ground troops in Iraq, and L. Paul Bremer III, the top civilian administrator until an Iraqi government took over in June 2004.

Among the overarching conclusions of the history is that five years after embarking on its largest foreign reconstruction project since the Marshall Plan in Europe after World War II, the United States government has in place neither the policies and technical capacity nor the organizational structure that would be needed to undertake such a program on anything approaching this scale.

The bitterest message of all for the reconstruction program may be the way the history ends. The hard figures on basic services and industrial production compiled for the report reveal that for all the money spent and promises made, the rebuilding effort never did much more than restore what was destroyed during the invasion and the convulsive looting that followed.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/14/world/mi
ddleeast/14reconstruct.html?_r=1&hp