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Moving into a New House: Gaza Families Waiting for Years due to Political Infighting.

In 2019, the house of the Zorob family was bombed leaving the family nothing but a pile of debris and despair. This made them sheltered in a 215-square-foot hut covered with nylon sheets for 4 years. They claimed to be moving into a new house but they are still waiting.

Moving into a new house

According to the report published by POLITICO, hundreds of families are hoping to be moving into a new house after they had lost theirs because of the conflict in Israel. The Housing project was estimated to cost $ 500 million. It was an Egyptian-funded renewal effort in Gaza.

However, the dream of moving into a new house is still on hold. Weeks before the white buildings are set to be completed, there is still no word to whom the 1400 apartments will be issued. There no
announcements on how to apply for one since Gaza’s Hamas rulers and the rival intentionally recognized the Palestine Authority’s quarrel over who would be in control.

A 31-year-old Mohammed Zorob complained that both sides don’t care about them. He also compared these families to having a comfortable life while they are waiting on when to be moving into a new house.

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There were an estimated 2,000 families or about 12,000 people including the Zorobs whose houses were destroyed by the fighting in recent years. This report was according to the Gaza Housing Ministry. As for the latest estimation, there were an additional 90, 000 people living in damaged homes that were not yet reconstructed.

Wished to be moving into a new house

Reconstruction attempts have been hampered by a sputtering economy that has been crippled by an Israeli-Egyptian siege, Hamas’ international isolation, and a lack of funds from a weary international community. However, the underlying conflict between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority has been there throughout all of these issues.

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It happened when Hamas, an Islamic military group resisting Israel’s existence, took over Gaza from the Palestine Authority a year after winning parliamentary elections. The destructive takeover let the PA control some of the semi-autonomous areas of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, even as it claims to be the legitimate international representative of both areas.

Considering Hamas as a terrorist group, Israel immediately put a blockade on Egypt to prevent Hamas from arming. With this closure, it devastated the Gaza economy and flared up four wars and a number of smaller violence. Numerous reconciliation by Hamas and the PA but it is still failed.

The housing project is the first Eyptian-funded infrastructure in the district followed by the Arab-funded development meant to ease Gaza’s housing crunch. Egypt announced the aid after an eight-war in 2021. Egypt is known to be the mediator of Israel and Hamas as well as between the rival Palestinian factions.

Two senior Egyptian officials confirmed that the Cairo administration is collaborating on the initiative with the opposing Palestinian factions. They claimed that although Egypt had asked the parties to set up a joint committee to supervise the allocation of homes, little had changed.

In a report by Business Mirror, the voice of the Palestine people to be moving into a new house was heard. During his visit to Egypt, Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas emphasized that this project is not for Hamas or Fatah this is for Palestine. One official also said that both sides want to control the process.

The two Egyptian Officials can speak on condition of anonymity because they are not allowed to speak in front of the media.

Moving into a new house is delayed.

The deputy of housing minister in Gaza’s Hamas-led government, Jawad al-Agha said that they submitted a proposal to Egypt about how the apartments must be allocated. The thing is, there are no details and no decisions have been made. This could be another pending meeting between the sides.

The West Bank office of the PA’s Housing Ministry did not respond to requests for comment.

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The deadlock left a thousand families in despair. They are waiting to be moving into a new house after the 50-day of war between Israel and Hamas in 2014.

During the war in 2019, the Zorob family was in stuck the battle between Israel and the Islamic Jihad militant group. Before the airstrike, the family was ordered to evacuate. No one was hurt but their home was destroyed.

The family said that it was not their intention to any militant group and didn’t know that their home was targeted.

Mohammed Zorob a father of a 2-month-old baby shared her experience on how they had spent five years constructing an apartment on the second floor of the building but in the blink of an eye, it was destroyed. Israel targeted the building.

The conditions in their run-down home, according to his father Moneer, are awful. “I suffer from the heat, the humidity, and in the winter we suffer from water leaking into the house,” he stated. The family’s one-room cottage in the front yard is made of concrete and nylon and has a squat kitchenette and a diminutive bathroom.

Another experience of Maha, Moneer’s wife, is that it is difficult for her to manage a grown daughter with cancer and difficulties in the situation. They wished to move into a new house. With the condition, her daughter has a weak immune system and must be kept away from relatives with even a cold.

According to Ibrahim Abrash, a former Cabinet Minister and political writer the international donor was devastated by the repetitive wars and violence that caused crises most notably the war in Ukraine.

The fight between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas stopped the repairing and construction in Gaza.

The main problem for now is that the there is confusion as to who will be the legitimate Palestinian Party that can be entrusted with the Money from the donors.

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Another experience from Hazem Isleem, a 42-year-old father of seven echoes the disappointment by many.

Isleem had the terrifying experience of seeing his own family enter the hospital as a security guard at Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital. Farah, his 11-year-old daughter, suffered a leg injury during the conflict in 2021 that also damaged their house. Currently, the family resides in a rented apartment that he can hardly afford.

They are hoping to be moving into a new house but this hope is in despair.

Isleem is hoping to move into a new house by going to the Housing Ministry leaving each time with no answers to their questions.

As for them, they are living in uncertainty.

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