Israel-Hamas war, day 209: $30-40 billion to rebuild the Gaza Strip, according to the UN

Find here our update on yesterday’s situation

Israel-Hamas war, day 209: $30-40 billion to rebuild the Gaza Strip, according to the UN

Find here our update on yesterday’s situation.

The UN estimated, Thursday, May 2, the cost of rebuilding the Gaza Strip, ravaged by the war between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, at a sum of between $30 and $40 billion (between $28 and $37 .5 billion euros), due to the unprecedented scale of the destruction.

“The scale of the destruction is enormous and unprecedented (…) This is a mission that the international community has not faced since the Second World War,” said Abdallah Al-Dardari, director of the regional office for the Arab States of UNDP, during a press conference in Amman. He estimated the total rubble accumulated as a result of the bombings and explosions at “37 million tons.” The UN official also specified that “72% of all residential buildings had been completely or partially destroyed.” He added that if the reconstruction of Gaza were to be carried out through the traditional process, “it could take decades, and [that] the Palestinian people do not have the luxury of waiting for decades. »

The Israeli offensive launched on Gaza in retaliation for the attack of October 7, 2023 has so far killed 34,596 people, according to the health ministry of the Hamas-administered enclave. In twenty-four hours, at least 28 additional deaths were recorded, according to a press release from the ministry, which reported 77,816 injured.

A Hamas delegation will soon travel to Egypt for new discussions on a ceasefire agreement in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian movement announced Thursday. In a statement, the head of Hamas's political bureau, Ismaïl Haniyeh, assured that the group was studying a truce proposal currently being negotiated "in a positive spirit."

Diplomatic efforts have been intensifying for several days to try to obtain a truce between Israel and Hamas accompanied by the release of Israeli hostages. Hamas said on Saturday that it had received the latest proposal from Israel and was examining it. But his response is awaited, casting doubt on a possible agreement after almost seven months of war.

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Hamas to accept the new proposal “now” while reaffirming Washington's opposition to a major Israeli offensive on the town of Rafah.

Sciences Po Paris hosted an internal debate on the Middle East on Thursday. “It was a tough debate, with fairly clear positions, a lot of emotion and so I now hope for everyone to regain calm” before the exams scheduled for Monday, declared Jean Bassères, the provisional administrator of the Parisian school. He admitted remaining “extremely cautious about the future of events”, while the mobilization is spreading in France. The provisional administrator acknowledged having “taken quite firm positions on certain subjects”, refusing “very clearly the creation of a working group which was proposed by certain students to investigate our relations with Israeli universities”.

The debate had barely ended, the mobilized student organizations – the Student Union and Student Solidarity – called for a sit-in in the entrance hall of Sciences Po.

On the students' request to question the school's "partnerships with universities and organizations supporting the State of Israel", the Minister of Higher Education, Sylvie Retailleau, repeated Thursday morning that he was "out question that universities take an institutional position in favor of this or that claim in the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.”

She asked university presidents to ensure the “maintenance of public order”, using “the fullest extent of the powers” ​​at their disposal, particularly in terms of disciplinary sanctions in the event of disturbances or recourse to law enforcement, during a videoconference intervention to the board of directors of France Universités. At the end of this exchange, France Universités, which brings together 116 members, including 74 universities, “welcomed the minister’s determination to take a balanced and firm path for a return to calm.”

So far silent on the pro-Palestinian gatherings in American universities, now dismantled, Joe Biden finally reacted in a brief statement on Thursday.

Americans “have the right to demonstrate, but not the right to sow chaos,” he said. “People have the right to receive an education, the right to get a degree, to walk across campus safely without fear of being attacked. Let us also be clear about this: There should be no place on any campus anywhere in America for anti-Semitism or threats of violence against Jewish students,” he continued.

The President of the United States also defended freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate, while emphasizing that “order must prevail.” “Dissent is essential to democracy,” he said from the White House. “But dissent must never lead to disorder. »

The President of Israel believes that “hate and anti-Semitism” have “contaminated” American campuses. Isaac Herzog denounced Thursday the “terrifying resurgence of anti-Semitism” in the world, and particularly in the United States, where “renowned universities, centers of history, culture and education” are “contaminated by hatred and 'anti-Semitism'. On these American campuses, “we watch with horror as the atrocities of October 7 [2023] against Israel are celebrated and justified,” he continued.

NGOs in Paris unfurl a banner calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. Members of Médecins du monde, Oxfam, Amnesty International France and CCF-Terre solidaire deployed a “Ceasefire” banner on the Bir-Hakeim bridge then raised a dummy assault rifle tied to the level of the cannon symbolizing the end of arms deliveries to the region.