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UN says Gaza needs biggest post-war reconstruction effort since World War II amid truce talks

Reconstruction is made more difficult by the presence of large quantities of unexploded ordnance in the debris that Gaza’s Civil Defence agency says triggers “more than 10 explosions every week.”

gaza 2PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES: The United Nations said Thursday that the post-war reconstruction of Gaza would require an international effort unseen since the aftermath of World War II, estimating it could cost up to $40 billion.

It came as Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh struck an optimistic tone over a possible truce and hostage release deal for Gaza, after weeks of largely stalled negotiations.

There have been reports of sticking points between the militant group and Israel nearly seven months into the war that has devastated the Palestinian territory.

But Haniyeh, head of the militant group’s Qatar-based political bureau, said in calls to Egyptian and Qatari mediators that Hamas was studying the latest proposal with a “positive spirit.”

Much of Gaza has been reduced to a grey landscape of rubble and the United Nations estimated the cost of reconstruction at between $30 billion and $40 billion.

“The scale of the destruction is huge and unprecedented… This is a mission that the global community has not dealt with since World War II,” UN assistant secretary-general Abdallah al-Dardari told a briefing in the Jordanian capital, Amman.

The UN official said, “72 percent of all residential buildings have been completely or partially destroyed.”

Reconstruction is made more difficult by the presence of large quantities of unexploded ordnance in the debris that Gaza’s Civil Defence agency says triggers “more than 10 explosions every week.”

The war started with Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel, that resulted in the deaths of 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

Israel estimates that 129 captives seized by militants during their attack remain in Gaza. The military says 34 of them are dead.

Israel’s retaliatory offensive against Hamas has killed at least 34,596 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory.

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