The economic cost of the three-week Gaza war to the Palestinian Authority totals more than 1.9 billion US dollars, according to PA estimates. Saudi Arabia has pledged to pick up more than half of the tab, with other states offering financial assistance to Hamas as well.
Dr. Loai Shabana, Director of the PA's Central Bureau of Statistics, claimed Monday that the massive economic damage included the destruction of 14 percent of Gaza's infrastructure, including residential buildings and public facilities. According to a 2007 PA census, there were 147,437 buildings in Gaza.
Speaking in Jerusalem, Shabana said that more than 5,000 PA residents were injured during Israel's Operation Cast Lead and will require some form of rehabilitation or financial assistance. Thousands of other households lost their breadwinners or their homes. She estimated that 31.5 million dollars will be needed in direct aid to Gazan families and individuals.
Saudi Arabia to Pick Up the Tab
Saudi Arabia pledged to provide the PA in Gaza, under the jihadist Hamas regime, with one billion dollars. The funds, Saudi King Abdullah said, are to go towards the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Gaza.
According to the Saudi monarch, "One drop of Palestinian blood" is more valuable than all the money in the world. He announced his kingdom's intention to make the billion-dollar donation at an Arab League economic summit held in Kuwait City on Monday. The meeting was called in light of harsh economic indicators regarding the Arab world in light of the global economic downturn. Aside from the Gaza issue, delegates focused on development in the Middle East.
In other forums, Syria and Iran also offered significant financial aid to help the Hamas regime recuperate from the heavy blows struck by Israel in the Jewish State's recent counter-terrorist offensive.