Statement by the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process,
Mr. Robert Serry, on reconstruction in Gaza

Jerusalem, 21 November 2014

The Special Coordinator is pleased to announce that under the trilateral agreement between Israel, the Palestinian Government of National Consensus and the United Nations reached in September, a further understanding was reached between the parties that starting next week  some 25,000 home owners in Gaza will be enabled to access building materials for the repair of  their damaged homes. The Government of National Consensus will soon make a separate public announcement on the process for access to the required building materials.

The Special Coordinator wishes to re-affirm that in the coming weeks all individuals in Gaza in need of building materials will be enabled to access the mechanism if they wish to do so. They will be able to procure the materials to repair or rebuild their properties in the same locations where they were located prior to the conflict. Special precautions have been taken to avoid the misuse of personal information of those wishing to access the mechanism.

The Special Coordinator wishes to underline that as part of the understandings reached, materials procured under the mechanism may only be used for their intended purpose and that the United Nations will undertake spot checks to monitor compliance.

The United Nations will undertake every effort to assist the Palestinian Government of National Consensus in its lead role to reconstruct Gaza, including in providing financial support to home owners needing assistance to undertake repairs. However, existing resources are not sufficient and the Special Coordinator urges donors to make available as a matter of urgency the pledges made at the Cairo International Conference.

The Special Coordinator calls on all parties concerned to lend their full support to enable the mechanism to operate at the required scale in the interests of the affected population in Gaza. He continues to believe that, if implemented in good faith, the temporary mechanism would represent a step forward towards the objective of lifting all remaining closures in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1860.