During the Holy month of Ramadan, Israeli settlers backed by the Israeli police attempted to enter the Al Aqsa Mosque compound whilst other settlers tried to forcibly remove Palestinians from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem as part of systematic settler colonial violence. In a context of escalating inter-communal tensions, and following warnings that any violation of the sanctity of the Al Aqsa Mosque would be met with military response, Hamas launched rockets towards Israel and on 10 May 2021 Israel launched a large-scale military operation against Gaza.

Gaza has once again been subjected to a devastating round of bombardment that has killed over 250 Palestinians, displaced thousands from their homes, and caused further impoverishment and immiseration. For those who have been following the situation in Gaza for years there is a feeling of Déjà vu. It has been over 12 years since the publication of a report in which Professor Barakat outlined recommendations for rebuilding following the 2008 / 09 war on Gaza. In that time, a generation has passed with billions of dollars expended on reconstruction, yet conditions on-the-ground continue to deteriorate.

Now that the bombs have stopped and attention turns to picking up the pieces, a radical rethink of how to approach reconstruction is required so as to avoid the pitfalls of previous attempts at rebuilding the besieged and beleaguered territory. 

This CHS Policy Briefing analyses the key issues facing the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip and offers strategic recommendations to stakeholders. The analysis is based on years of research and engagement with humanitarian action and reconstruction efforts in Gaza and elsewhere in the region.