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Following the Israeli attack on Gaza in 2014, the Palestinian and Israeli governments, and with international sponsorship, formed a temporary arrangement through which large quantities of “dual-use” items were allowed to enter Gaza for the purpose of reconstruction. This mechanism is known as the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism (GRM), and is considered by many Palestinians to be corrupt and unjust, as it legitimizes the Israeli blockade imposed on Gaza since 2006, and effectively impedes the reconstruction process. The GRM gives Israel the right to completely control what is allowed to enter Gaza, including necessary materials for reconstruction.

The continuous Israeli attacks on Gaza in recent years, especially the most recent assault in May 2021, have led to widespread destruction of material resources that undermines prospects for recovery and reconstruction in the besieged enclave. As the GRM fundamentally perpetuates the Israeli regime’s siege, what is needed is a new reconstruction mechanism. 

This policy memo explores what a more robust, effective, and representative Palestinian reconstruction plan should look like. It offers recommendations to Palestinian leadership and civil society, as well as the international donor community, for how they can bring about a self-determined reconstruction mechanism.

What a New Mechanism Requires 

The GRM is limited to the reconstruction of buildings and public facilities, including infrastructure and roads, within a settler-colonial context. It is intertwined with the structures and policies of neoliberalism in a way that meets the needs of the Israeli regime, and thus, undermines the possibilities of resistance. Its aim is to obscure the fact that reconstruction needs to extend to the political sector so that it imposes conditions on Israel that pressure it to end its ongoing siege of Gaza.


A new reconstruction mechanism must revitalize the Palestinian national struggle as a prerequisite for rebuilding Palestinian infrastructure
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A new reconstruction mechanism must revitalize the Palestinian national struggle as a prerequisite for rebuilding Palestinian infrastructure. It must also be designed to end the Palestinian political division, so as not to limit its scope to Gaza. That is, the new mechanism should lay out a plan for a unified Palestinian political sphere which defies their fragmentation, and which contributes to strengthening Palestinians’ confidence in their leadership as a means to achieve a desired political future. This would necessitate the formation of a supervisory committee for the reconstruction mechanism - a committee whose membership would include politically and socially diverse Palestinians from across all parts of colonized Palestine.

Recommendations

Palestinian leadership and civil society, as well as the donor community partaking in the GRM, should consider the following recommendations: 

The post Gaza Reconstruction: Toward a Self-Determined Mechanism appeared first on Al-Shabaka.


This content originally appeared on Al-Shabaka and was authored by Talal Abu Rokbeh.

Citations

[1]https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/bn-treading-water-gaza-reconstruction-mechanism-220321-en.pdf[2] GRM ➤ https://grm.report/[3] Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism: Profiting Israel, Entrenching the Blockade ➤ https://www.jadaliyya.com/Details/32264[4] The New Humanitarian | Gaza’s vicious circle of war, truce, and reconstruction ➤ https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/news-feature/2021/6/9/gaza-vicious-circle-war-truce-and-reconstruction[5] Honor the Victims: Avoid Past Mistakes in Reconstructing Gaza - Al-Shabaka ➤ https://al-shabaka.org/briefs/honor-the-victims-avoid-past-mistakes-in-reconstructing-gaza/[6] Gaza: Apparent War Crimes During May Fighting | Human Rights Watch ➤ https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/07/27/gaza-apparent-war-crimes-during-may-fighting[7] play ➤ https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/5/25/in-ravaged-gaza-reconstruction-impeded-by-draining-challenges[8]https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=http%3A%2F%2Fow.ly%2FJmsZ50FKYZF&text=A%20new%20reconstruction%20mechanism%20must%20revitalize%20the%20Palestinian%20national%20struggle%20as%20a%20prerequisite%20for%20rebuilding%20Palestinian%20infrastructure&%23038;via=AlShabaka&%23038;related=AlShabaka[9] Defying Fragmentation and the Significance of Unity: A New Palestinian Uprising - Al-Shabaka ➤ https://al-shabaka.org/commentaries/defying-fragmentation-and-the-significance-of-unity-a-new-palestinian-uprising/[10] play ➤ https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/5/22/palestinian-solidarity-protests-marked-around-the-world[11] Youth Activists Are Reframing the Palestinian Cause as the Palestinian Authority Stays Silent ➤ https://foreignpolicy.com/2021/05/25/israel-palestine-gaza-sheikh-jarrah-abbas-youth-activists-east-jerusalem-occupation/[12] The Gaza Reconstruction Process Must Not be Politicized – Pal-Think For Strategic Studies ➤ http://palthink.org/en/2021/06/10949/[13] BDS Movement | ➤ https://bdsmovement.net/[14] Gaza Reconstruction: Toward a Self-Determined Mechanism - Al-Shabaka ➤ https://al-shabaka.org/memos/gaza-reconstruction-toward-a-self-determined-mechanism/[15] Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network ➤ https://al-shabaka.org/en