Beit Hanoun’s veteran bridge builder shrugged off his latest misfortune: the Israelis destroyed the main span into town three years ago. The European Union rebuilt it. And overnight the Israelis destroyed it again.
Elbity said Beit Hanoun, a northern
The air and ground offensive has also devastated Gaza’s infrastructure, compounding Palestinian hardships and upsetting international donors who have poured millions of dollars into rebuilding it after earlier Israeli offensives.
Western diplomats said it was unclear when and if any of the projects could be rebuilt. The , the European Union and other donors have vowed to withhold funds until Hamas recognises and renounces violence.
"It’s complicated by the fact that we cannot even talk to the Hamas ministers," said Nils Eliasson, ‘s consul-general in
Swedish, British and other envoys have stepped up pressure on in recent days. Even the , ‘s staunchest ally, is complaining about strikes against bridges and power stations, some built with taxpayer money.
Since the bombing began on June 28, two of the largest donors to the Palestinians — the European Union and — have seen several large projects destroyed or damaged. The Japanese government just launched a $19 million programme to rehabilitate and widen
Former Palestinian public works minister, Abdel-Rahman Hamad, said international reconstruction projects will have to be put on hold until agrees not to strike them in future.
"How do you convince donors to fund a bridge when the Israelis are going to just destroy it again?" asked Hamad as he peered through the gaping holes blasted in the Beit Hanoun bridge. "It is a waste of time and money."
With more than $300,000 in EU funding, the four-lane bridge was just two years old when it was bombed on Saturday.But one lane survived. Early Tuesday morning, finished the job with two missiles, witnesses said.
Now only one bridge remains standing in Beit Hanoun. "After two or three nights, maybe will destroy this bridge too," Elbity said.