UN: Scale of Destruction in Gaza Not Seen Since WWII, Will Take 16 Years To Rebuild

The Israeli bombing campaign has damaged or destroyed 72% of all homes in the Gaza Strip

The UN said on Thursday that the scale of destruction in Gaza hasn’t been seen since World War II and that it would take a minimum of 16 years to rebuild homes in the Strip.

“We have not seen anything like this since 1945,” said Abdallah al-Dardari, a UN assistant secretary-general. “That intensity, in such a short time and the massive scale of destruction.”

Al-Dardi said 72% of all residential buildings in Gaza have been partially or completely destroyed. “The United Nations Development Programme’s initial estimates for the reconstruction of… the Gaza Strip surpass $30 billion and could reach up to $40 billion,” al-Dardi said.

Israel’s bombing campaign has been compared to the US and Allied strategic bombing of Japanese and German cities during World War II, which includes the firebombing of Dresden and the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Israeli officials have pointed to World War II to justify the massive number of civilian casualties, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who made the argument to President Biden.

“It was pointed out to me that — by Bibi (Netanyahu) — that ‘Well, you carpet-bombed Germany. You dropped the atom bomb. A lot of civilians died,'” Biden said back in December. “

Biden said he told Netanyahu: “That’s why all these institutions were set up after World War II to see to it that it didn’t happen again.” At the time, Biden called the Israeli bombing campaign “indiscriminate,” but nearly five months later, he continues to support it.

A reconstruction effort in Gaza could only begin once the Israeli siege comes to an end, and there’s no sign that will happen anytime soon. Even if Israel and Hamas reach a hostage deal that includes a ceasefire, Netanyahu has made clear it will only be temporary.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.