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crisis in gaza

Official says U.S. plans to lead effort to rebuild Gaza, restoring health and education services

With Israel and Hamas agreeing to a cease-fire after more than a week of fighting, the United States is now planning on leading the international effort to rebuild Gaza, a senior Biden administration official told The New York Times on Thursday. 

After the cease-fire was announced, President Biden said the U.S. will provide "rapid humanitarian assistance to Gaza" in a "full partnership with the Palestinian Authority in a matter that does not permit Hamas to simply restock its military arsenal." Israeli airstrikes leveled building across Gaza, and the hospitals are overwhelmed by the number of people injured, The Associated Press reports. As part of the reconstruction efforts, which are expected to cost billions of dollars, Gaza's health and education services will be restored, the Times reports.

Dennis B. Ross served as an American negotiator of peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians, and he told the Times that Hamas, the militant group that governs the Gaza Strip, needs to be put "in a position where they have to choose between their rockets and the well-being of Gaza." There should be public assurance that if Hamas is found storing and building rockets, there will be consequences tied to humanitarian aid, Ross said, adding that he believes Gaza's "needs are so profound" that Hamas "will go along with something."

Gaza has high unemployment and spotty electricity and waste management, with many people still living in temporary housing put up after their homes were destroyed during fighting between Israel and Hamas in 2014. Rebuilding efforts that came out of that conflict mostly failed, a 2017 Brookings Institution analysis found, because several countries opposed Hamas' ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and did not send the money they pledged. Read more at The New York Times.