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Middle East

Palestinian deputy minister: War damage at least $4-6B

Palestinians search destroyed cars in Rafah's district of Shawkah in the southern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

RAMALLAH, Palestine: A month of fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip will cost the Palestinian territory at least $4-6 billion in damage, deputy economy minister Taysir Amro said Tuesday.

Amro told AFP the figure included only “direct damage” to the Gaza economy and warned it could climb higher once additional impacts on the 1.8 million population are taken into account.

A more precise assessment would be carried out once calm returned permanently to the overpopulated sliver of territory, where more than 1,850 people were killed and nearly half a million displaced, he said.

Amro said international donors were expected to meet in Norway in September, but gave no details.

A 72-hour truce came into effect at 8 a.m. Tuesday as the last Israeli troops left the battered enclave.

Hundreds of homes were destroyed and last week the Gaza Strip’s only power plant was shelled, imposing total blackouts.

The Palestinian territory, which is under blockade by Israel and Egypt, suffers from chronic water and power shortages.

Even before the latest fighting, Gaza suffered power cuts of eight to 12 hours a day, hampering hospitals, schools, businesses and water treatment centers.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 06, 2014, on page 9.

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